Two #AlQaida-linked brothers suspected of killing 12 people in an attack on the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine #CharlieHebdo on Wednesday were killed in a #firefight after a tense stand-off on Friday night.
The attackers, Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, had taken a hostage and were holed up inside a printing house in Dammartin-en-Goele, a northeastern area of Paris. The stand-off was broken after the brothers came out with guns blazing. The hostage, fortunately, survived the ordeal.
Meanwhile, in another part of the French capital, police were involved in a second face-off, as a gunman, identified as Amedy Coulibaly, along with an accomplice took multiple hostages at a kosher supermarket. He threatened to kill them if the police launched an assault on the Kouachi brothers.
Minutes after the police killed the brothers in Dammartin-en-Goele, they stormed the kosher grocery store, bringing the siege to a violent end. Coulibaly was killed in the firefight; however, his accomplice, a 26-year-old woman named Hayat Boumeddiene managed to flee.
The duo is suspected to be behind the shooting in Paris on Thursday morning, in which a policewoman was killed and a street sweeper was left wounded.
According to the chief prosecutor in #Paris, Francois Molins, 4 hostages were killed at the kosher supermarket and 15 others were rescued. The prosecutor says that the deaths occurred when Coulibaly entered the supermarket and not when the police stormed the place.
According to reports, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility. A recording released by AQAP’s Sheikh Harith al-Nadhari on social media, praised the attack and denounced French people as “the heads of infidelity” and threatened France with new attacks: “It is better for you to stop striking Muslims so you can live in peace. But if you only wish for war, then rejoice,” he is reported to have said.
U.S. intelligence sources say that Said Kouachi had been trained by al Qaeda in Yemen in 2011. Officials in France have also revealed that ISIS and AQAP flags were found in the car used by the brothers.
The violent attacks have triggered outrage across the world, with several cartoonists expressing their solidarity with the journalists from Charlie Hebdo through their works.
France has planned a unity rally on Sunday to protest against the attacks, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minster David Cameron, Italian PM Matteo Renzi and Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy confirming their attendance.