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Paris In Shock After Three Days Of Deadly Terrorist Shootings And Sieges

Police ended two related hostage situations near Paris. In one, to the northeast, the brothers wanted for the Charlie Hebdo massacre were also killed. To the east, a gunman who said he was working with the brothers was killed, along with four of his hostages, BuzzFeed News confirmed. Warning: Graphic images.

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Updated on

What We Know So Far

  • Police killed Chérif Kouachi and Said Kouachi, the brothers wanted for the Charlie Hebdo massacre, after raiding the printshop 25 miles northeast of Paris where they were holding a hostage. The hostage survived.
  • Police raided the scene of a hostage situation at a Kosher market to the east of Paris. The gunman and four of the hostages are dead, BuzzFeed News confirmed. Four hostages were injured.
  • The two hostage situations are related to the shooting death of a police officer to the south of Paris on Thursday, one of the gunmen told a reporter.
  • The hostage taker in the deli, Amedy Coulibaly, was already wanted for the police officer's death.
  • Kouachi told a BFM-TV reporter that the brothers and Coulibaly coordinated their attacks.
  • Kouachi told the reporter that he was financed by imam Anwar Al Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011.
  • Coulibaly's wanted accomplice in the police officer shooting, Hayat Boumeddiene, is still being sought by authorities, with Turkish officials saying they believe her to be in Syria.
  • One assailant on the publication, 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, turned himself in to police.
  • The terrorist attack on the offices of the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo left 12 dead, including four of the nation's most famous cartoonists.
  • Charlie Hebdo has a history of satirizing many religions, including Islam. In 2011, it was firebombed after running a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammed.

Updates

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A Dutch cartoonist known for his work at Charlie Hebdo has told a Dutch newspaper he is amused by how many "new friends" the satirical paper has made since the massacre at its Paris offices, according to Agence France Presse.

"We have a lot of new friends, like the pope, Queen Elizabeth and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. It really makes me laugh," Bernard Holtrop, who uses the pen name Willem, told Volkskrant.

"We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends," the 73-year-old said.

Willem was on a train at the time of the shooting. "I never come to the editorial meetings because I don't like them. I guess that saved my life," he told the French newspaper Libération.

He also stressed that he believed Charlie Hebdo should continue to publish. "Otherwise, [the Islamists] have won," he said.

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ISTANBUL — A Turkish intelligence source has confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Hayat Boumeddiene, the girlfriend of one of the gunmen linked to the Paris attacks, traveled to Istanbul on January 2 and is believed to be in Syria.

The source said that Boumeddiene, who is wanted in France for her connection to the attacks, arrived in Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport from France. She stayed in the city for two days, he said, and then traveled to the Turkish border province of Urfa on Jan. 4. From there, "we lost track of her," the source said. "We think she is most likely in Syria."

It was her first trip to Turkey, he said, suggesting that Boumeddiene had not previously traveled to Syria. He said Turkish authorities were investigating whether Boumeddiene had links to any terror groups inside Syria.

The source added that Boumeddiene was traveling with a man while in Istanbul, and that the two stayed in the same hotel. This was not the same man as Amedy Coulibaly, her boyfriend in France, who killed a French policewoman on Thursday and four hostages in a kosher grocery store on Friday before being killed by French security personnel.

Turkish authorities were investigating whether the man was a "boyfriend" of Boumeddiene, the source added. He declined to release the man's name, saying it was unclear if he was guilty of any crime.

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The names of the four people killed Friday during the siege on a Kosher deli in Paris by terrorist Amedy Coulibaly have been released by the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, the BBC reported.

The victims were identified as Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen, and Francois-Michel Saada.

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The family of one of the police officers murdered at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper officers on Wednesday has given an emotional news conference in Paris.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Ahmed Merabet was shot dead outside the newspaper's offices after encountering the Islamist gunmen. His death was captured on cell phone footage, prompting the hashtag #JeSuisAhmed to spread on social media to remember his act of bravery.

His brother, Malek, told reporters that Ahmed's death is a sign it is wrong "to mix extremists with Muslims." He called on people to stop attacking mosques or synagogues in the wake of the attacks.

Ahmed was "very proud to represent the French police and defend the values of the Republic: liberté, égalité, fraternité," Malek Merabet said.

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In the recording attributed to a leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Sheikh Hareth al-Nadhari said the attack was revenge for insults of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

"Some of the sons of France were disrespectful to the prophets of Allah, so a group from among the believing soldiers of Allah marched unto them, then they taught them respect and the limit of the freedom of expression," al-Nadhari said, according to SITE, a terror monitoring service. "Soldiers who love Allah and His messengers have come unto you, and they do not fear death but adore martyrdom in the cause of Allah."

If AQAP directed the attack, it would be the first time the group has successfully carried out an operation in the West, the Associated Press reported.

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The U.S. State Department updated a worldwide travel alert for Americans Friday in light of the attacks.

"Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that U.S. citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness," the statement said.

The alert, which was issued just hours after the attacks in France, said kidnappings of U.S. citizens have become increasingly frequent as al-Qaeda and ISIS attempt to finance their operations through kidnapping and ransom demands.

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French authorities released video showing police engaged in an intense firefight that ended in the deaths of the two gunmen responsible for the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com
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Four people killed by terror suspect when he entered grocery, prosecutor said.

François Molins, the procureur de la république, during a news conference Friday, said the four hostages killed Friday were dead before the police stormed the market.

He also said that 16 people have been detained by police over the past few days and five remain in custody.

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Video broadcast on the public national television channel France 2 shows the violent end to the supermarket standoff. Warning: Graphic images.

View this video on YouTube

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Four hostages were injured in addition to the five people who died, including the gunman, in the kosher grocery store, the interior minister said.

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"We're hopeful that the immediate threat is now resolved, thanks to the courage and professionalism of the French personnel on the ground. But, the French government continues to face the threat of terrorism and has to remain vigilant. The situation is fluid."

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Here is the translation of the call between the BFM-TV reporter and Kouachi:

Kouachi: We're just telling you that we are the defenders of the prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and that I, Cherif Kouachi, was sent by "Al Qaeda in Yemen," ok?

Journalist: Ok

Kouachi: And that I went there and that it's imam Al-Awlaki that financed me.

Journalist: Ok, and how long ago was it?

Kouachi: It was a long time ago. Before he was killed. [inaudible]

Journalist: So you came back to France not long ago?

Kouachi: Oh yes, a while ago… the secret service I know them, don't worry about it. I know very well how I was able to do things well.

Journalist: Ok, and now there is only you and your brother here?

Kouachi: That's not your problem.

Journalist: Some people are behind you, or not?

Kouachi: That's not your problem.

Journalist: Ok, and are you planning on killing again in the name of Allah or not?

Kouachi: Kill who?

Journalist: I don't know. That's what I'm asking you.

Kouachi: Did we kill any civilians in the past two days people have been looking for us?

Journalist: You killed journalists.

Kouachi: No but, did we kill any civilians? Civilians, or people during the two days you spent looking for us?

Journalist: Wait, wait, Cherif, Cherif, did you kill this morning?

Kouachi: But we are not killers. We are defenders of the prophet. We don't kill women, we don't kill anyone. We defend the prophet. If someone offend the prophet then there is no problem, we can kill him. But we don't kill women. We're not like you. You're the ones killing the children of Muslims in Irak, in Syria, in Afghanistan. That's you. Not us. We have honor codes in Islam.

Journalist: But right now you avenged yourself, no? You killed people?

Kouachi: We avenged ourselves exactly. You said it well. You said it yourself, we avenged ourselves.

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French Police Say All The Suspects Involved In The Paris Attacks Are Linked To One Man

The brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, the gunmen behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre Wednesday, and Amedy Coulibaly, named by police as the gunman behind the shooting of a policewoman Thursday, all knew one another, say French police.
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"I would call upon all French people to stand up this Sunday for liberty" — Hollande

  • "It is an anti-Semitic attack that was carried out."
  • "These fanatics, they have absolutely nothing to do with Islam and religion."
  • "We have to be able to react when attacked with force" but also with solidarity.
  • "We are a nation that is not scared, that is not frightened."
  • "I would like to salute once again our soldiers."
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President Hollande is addressing the attacks:

View this video on YouTube

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A reporter for France's BFM-TV claimed to have talked to Chérif Kouachi on Friday morning, and to Amedy Coulibaly in the afternoon in telephone calls, according to Le Monde.

Kouachi claimed he was sent on a mission by Al Qaeda in Yemen and that he was financed by imam Anwar Al Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011. Coulibaly claimed that he had "synchronized" his actions with the brothers who attacked Charlie Hebdo. "They were in charge of Charlie Hebdo, and I was in charge of the cops," he reportetly told the channel. Coulibaly also claimed to be affiliated with ISIS.

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Four hostages were killed at the kosher grocery store near Paris.

BuzzFeed News has confirmed that French president Francois Hollande has called Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to inform him that four hostages were killed at the Hyper Cacher Supermarket in the Paris-area standoff.

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The lawyer for Djamel Beghal, who reportedly mentored Chérif Kouachi, the now-dead suspect in the Charlie Hebdo attacks, responded:

Djamel Beghal's lawyer, Bérenger Tourné, told the AFP that his client is in jail in Rennes. He said Beghal told him that he had "nothing to do" with the attacks and that he was worried about the safety of his family based in London, because of the way he was being portrayed in the media. According to Le Monde, Djamel Beghal has been in jail since 2005, when he was sentenced to 10 years in jail for planning an attack on the American embassy in Paris.

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Police told the AP that the gunman, now dead, in the kosher grocery hostage situation is Amedy Coulibaly, who was wanted for the second suspect in the shooting death of the police officer south of Paris from Thursday.

Authorities are still searching for his accomplice in the attack on the officer, Hayat Boumeddiene.

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Yemeni Official: No Contact With Paris About Charlie Hebdo Attack

From BuzzFeed News reporter Gregory D. Johnsen:

A Yemeni official says the government has yet to receive any information requests from France despite reports that one of the Paris gunmen traveled to Yemen to train with al-Qaeda.

"The French government has not yet contacted us on the matter," the Yemeni diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic relations, told BuzzFeed News.

Both U.S. and French officials have claimed that Said Kouachi, a 34-year-old believed to be one of the two gunmen who killed 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo office on Wednesday, traveled to Yemen at some point in 2011. When he arrived in the country, where he went, and who he met with remain unclear.
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Some of the hostages and the gunman in the kosher grocery have died, police officials told multiple media outlets.

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Here's a fuller video from France TV on the siege at the grocery store:

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Video of the grocery siege:

VIDEO: Police enter kosher grocery in eastern Paris and appear to free several hostages #ParisAttacks http://t.co/U4IWKrDnSx

Sky News@SkyNewsFollow

VIDEO: Police enter kosher grocery in eastern Paris and appear to free several hostages #ParisAttacks http://t.co/U4IWKrDnSx

11:57 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Police killed Cherif Kouachi and Said Kouachi, wanted for the Charlie Hebdo massacre, in a siege of the hostage scene, the head of National Police told Le Monde.

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The moment police stormed the Kosher delicatessen in east #Paris

Harry Fear@harryfearFollow

The moment police stormed the Kosher delicatessen in east #Paris

11:38 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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AFP reports in this photo that some hostages have been freed at the kosher grocery store:

Libération d'otages au supermarché casher - photo Thomas Samson #AFP

Agence France-Presse@afpfrFollow

Libération d'otages au supermarché casher - photo Thomas Samson #AFP

11:34 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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About six explosions were heard at the kosher deli to the east of Paris, Sky News reported.

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A view of the explosions near the hostage scene northeast of Paris from Sky News:

vine.co
vine.co
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Gunfire and explosions are audible on Sky TV in Demmartin-en-Goele, where the Charlie Habdo assailants are allegedly holding a hostage and are surrounded by police.

Joel Saget/AFP / Getty Images

Smoke rises from a building in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, where two brothers suspected of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo attack were holding one person hostage.

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According to a Le Parisien article from 2009, Amedi Coulibaly, a suspect in the shooting death a police officer south of Paris, met then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy:

It was in July of that year. Sarkozy was meeting with 10 young workers, including Coulibaly, who was then working at a Coca-Cola factory in Grigny, the town south of Paris where he was born and grew up, according to the article.

Coulibaly, who was 27 at the time, is said to have nine sisters and to be the only boy, according to the article. He said in the interview that he was happy to meet with Sarkozy and he was supposed to bring back pictures and autographs to his family. He said that where he is from "Sarkozy is really not popular," like most politicians, he said. He added, "meeting him in real life is impressive. Whether you like him or not, he is still the president," he said.

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The incident at the Trocadero subway station was a false alarm, according to several media outlets citing French officials. Trains are running again.

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There is armed police activity at the Trocadero subway station in Paris, a heavy tourist area near the Eiffel Tower, according to witnesses.

Tirs dans le metro ? #trocadero #charliehebdo ?

Julien Escro@JulienEspioFollow

Tirs dans le metro ? #trocadero #charliehebdo ?

9:06 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Le Monde reports on the similar backgrounds of a Charlie Hebdo attack suspect and a suspect in the fatal attack on a police officer outside Paris:

Le Monde reported that Chérif Kouachi, named as a suspect in the Charlie Hebdo attack, and Amedy Coulibaly, 33, named as a suspect in the police officer's shooting south of France, were the two main "disciples" of Djamel Beghal, an al Qaeda terrorist who was released from a 10-year prison sentence in 2010.

Hayat Boumeddiene, 22, is Coulibaly's girlfriend, Le Monde reported. After his release from prison, Coulibaly was living at her house, Le Monde reported sources as saying.

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Here is what we know right now about the situation at the kosher grocery:

A hostage situation is underway at a kosher deli near Port de Vincennes in eastern Paris, French officials said. The gunman is armed with an automatic rifle, a police official told the Associated Press.

President Francois Hollande ordered the top security officials to the scene, according to the Associated Press. Schools in the nearby area went into lockdown and some roads have been shut down.

Officials are trying to determine whether the hostage-taker is responsible for killing a policewoman in southern Paris, Thursday morning, according to France 24.

Police official says man who opened fire in Paris market declares "you know who I am." http://t.co/DM09Qp0QCf

The Associated Press@APFollow

Police official says man who opened fire in Paris market declares "you know who I am." http://t.co/DM09Qp0QCf

9:03 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Police released the names of two suspects — Hayat Boumeddiene and Amedy Coulibaly — involved in the Jan. 8 shooting in Montrogue which killed one policewoman.

SECOND Appel à témoins #Fusillade #Montrouge Contacter le 0805 02 17 17. En savoir plus >>> http://t.co/8c2UJGQQJy

Préfecture de police@prefpoliceFollow

SECOND Appel à témoins #Fusillade #Montrouge Contacter le 0805 02 17 17.
En savoir plus >>> http://t.co/8c2UJGQQJy

8:17 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Translation:

We ask all people with information that could locate the two individuals photographed below to get in touch with the police.

These people, suspected to be armed and dangerous, have an arrest warrant issued against them in the the investigation of the murder committed with terrorist purpose on the Jan 8, 2015 at Avenue Pierre Brossolette in Montrouge.

It was not immediately clear if the two suspects are involved in either of the hostage situations near Paris today.

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Scenes from outside the grocery store siege:

Prise d'#otage porte de #Vincennes : déploiement massif de policiers en gilet pare-balles

Thomas Morel@Thom_MorelFollow

Prise d'#otage porte de #Vincennes : déploiement massif de policiers en gilet pare-balles

8:19 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

#prisedotage porte de Vincennes : deux ambulances quittent les lieux

Thomas Morel@Thom_MorelFollow

#prisedotage porte de Vincennes : deux ambulances quittent les lieux

8:30 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Paris Mayor says she was "horrified" when she learned about the hostage situation at the kosher grocery:

J’ai appris avec horreur qu’une prise d’otage avait débuté, Porte de Vincennes, et me suis immédiatement rendue sur place.

Anne Hidalgo@Anne_HidalgoFollow

J’ai appris avec horreur qu’une prise d’otage avait débuté, Porte de Vincennes, et me suis immédiatement rendue sur place.

8:07 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The Associated Press reports that there are hostages taken in a Jewish deli just east of Paris:

BREAKING: Paris prosecutor: Gunman with hostages in kosher market in eastern Paris; police SWAT on scene.

The Associated Press@APFollow

BREAKING: Paris prosecutor: Gunman with hostages in kosher market in eastern Paris; police SWAT on scene.

7:55 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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A witness says this is the scene of the deli shooting incident:

instagram.com
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There is reportedly an ongoing shooting incident at a kosher deli just east of Paris, police sources told multiple media outlets. At least one person is reportedly injured.

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Le président @fhollande supervise les opérations dans la "situation room" du ministère de l'Intérieur, @Place_Beauvau

Élysée@ElyseeFollow

Le président @fhollande supervise les opérations dans la "situation room" du ministère de l'Intérieur, @Place_Beauvau

6:55 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Translation: "The president supervises the operations in the "situation room" of the Interior Ministry"

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One of the Kouachi brothers met with a leading al-Qaeda preacher when he traveled to Yemen in 2011, according to reports.

Said Kouachi, 34, met Anwar al-Awlaki, a prominent al-Qaeda preacher, when he traveled to Yemen to train with an al-Qaeda affiliate, Reuters reported.

U.S.-born Awlaki played a key role in spreading the terrorist group's teachings in Europe and among English-speakers. He was killed in September 2011 in a drone strike.

Exclusive: Paris attack suspect met late al Qaeda preacher in Yemen - senior intel source http://t.co/syXUI7Bycn

Reuters Top News@ReutersFollow

Exclusive: Paris attack suspect met late al Qaeda preacher in Yemen - senior intel source http://t.co/syXUI7Bycn

1:29 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Police have reportedly made contact with the hostage-takers, who said they want to die as "martyrs":

BREAKING: French official: Phone contact made with terror suspects holding hostage northeast of Paris.

The Associated Press@APFollow

BREAKING: French official: Phone contact made with terror suspects holding hostage northeast of Paris.

11:35 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

BREAKING: Lawmaker inside French command post says terror suspects say they want to die as martyrs.

The Associated Press@APFollow

BREAKING: Lawmaker inside French command post says terror suspects say they want to die as martyrs.

6:38 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The deputy mayor of Seine-et-Marne, Yves Albarello, has reportedly said the suspects told negotiators they "want to die as martyrs."

Yves Albarello, UMP MP for Seine-et-Marne has told @itele: "the two fugitives declared they wanted to die as martyrs."

Angelique Chrisafis@achrisafisFollow

Yves Albarello, UMP MP for Seine-et-Marne has told @itele: "the two fugitives declared they wanted to die as martyrs."

10:06 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Students in Dammartin-en-Goële have been tweeting about the lockdown at their high school.

Une fusillade a coter de mon lycée normal ! On est enfermé dans le lycée interdit de sortir

Volim te P@MarionGenayFollow

Une fusillade a coter de mon lycée normal ! On est enfermé dans le lycée interdit de sortir

8:41 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Translation:

"A shooting next to my school! We're locked in the high school and forbidden from leaving"

C'est a 5min de chez moi putain ! On le reveille en surssaut tout le monde m'envoi des Msgs ! J'bouge pas de chez moi !

Jéjé ✌️MaFemme K. ❤️@JeremyPereiiraFollow

C'est a 5min de chez moi putain ! On le reveille en surssaut tout le monde m'envoi des Msgs !
J'bouge pas de chez moi !

9:26 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Translation:

"It's 5 min from my house — shit! I woke up with a start. Everyone is sending me messages. I'm staying home!"

On a jamais été autant en ensemble dans le lycee qu'aujourd'hui

Soso ✌@Soniiaa28Follow

On a jamais été autant en ensemble dans le lycee qu'aujourd'hui

9:53 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Translation:

"We were never as together in high school as we were today"

instagram.com

Translation:

"Confined to the school because of the hostage-taking"

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Two runways at Charles de Gaulle airport have been shut down.

Reports: Charles de Gaulle airport partially shut as police search town roughly 8 miles away - @BBCNews, @airlivenet http://t.co/ZFJYh80uxy

Breaking News@BreakingNewsFollow

Reports: Charles de Gaulle airport partially shut as police search town roughly 8 miles away - @BBCNews, @airlivenet http://t.co/ZFJYh80uxy

9:48 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

BREAKING: Paris airport closes 2 runways to arrivals amid nearby standoff with newspaper attack suspects: http://t.co/3PjBpVKzpp

The Associated Press@APFollow

BREAKING: Paris airport closes 2 runways to arrivals amid nearby standoff with newspaper attack suspects: http://t.co/3PjBpVKzpp

2:14 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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AFP has quoted a police source saying the Charlie Hebdo suspects are holding one person hostage.

#BREAKING Paris massacre suspects holding one hostage: police source

Agence France-Presse@AFPFollow

#BREAKING Paris massacre suspects holding one hostage: police source

9:40 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

It has been widely reported that the building in question is a printing facility belonging to a company called CTD.

Le Figaro newspaper reporting 1 person held hostage by 2 Hebdo suspects in printing company outside Paris.

Jonathan Rugman@jrugFollow

Le Figaro newspaper reporting 1 person held hostage by 2 Hebdo suspects in printing company outside Paris.

9:40 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The Paris prosecutor's office has denied earlier reports of a death in the Dammartin-en-Goële shootout.

Paris prosecutor's office denies report of person killed in Dammartin-en-Goele shootout

RTÉ News@rtenewsFollow

Paris prosecutor's office denies report of person killed in Dammartin-en-Goele shootout

9:21 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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There are unconfirmed reports in French media of at least one death in relation to the situation in Dammartin-en-Goële. Figures vary from one dead to two dead and 20 injured.

"La fusillade de ce matin aurait fait 2 morts et une vingtaine de blessés - bilan provisoire" : http://t.co/r32D2NpNKv

RTL France@RTLFranceFollow

"La fusillade de ce matin aurait fait 2 morts et une vingtaine de blessés - bilan provisoire" : http://t.co/r32D2NpNKv

8:57 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

#BREAKING : 1 dead, several injured in shootout North-East of Paris (French radio @RTLFrance ) http://t.co/LdSF5QeCiv #CharlieHebdo

FRANCE 24@FRANCE24Follow

#BREAKING : 1 dead, several injured in shootout North-East of Paris (French radio @RTLFrance ) http://t.co/LdSF5QeCiv #CharlieHebdo

9:08 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Report: 1 dead, several injured in shootout northeast of Paris, per RTLFrance radio - @FRANCE24 http://t.co/hasCHjOVnC

Breaking News@BreakingNewsFollow

Report: 1 dead, several injured in shootout northeast of Paris, per RTLFrance radio - @FRANCE24 http://t.co/hasCHjOVnC

9:12 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Selon Le Parisien, deux morts et 20 blessés lors de l'échange de coups de feu ce matin. http://t.co/AQa7FlbJYQ

Ivan Valerio@ivalerioFollow

Selon Le Parisien, deux morts et 20 blessés lors de l'échange de coups de feu ce matin. http://t.co/AQa7FlbJYQ

8:56 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Reports suggest that the operation is now focusing on an industrial facility near Dammartin-en-Goële, following reports of a gunfight and hostage-taking.

Sky News

An armed police officer tells press to turn around near the scene in this screengrab from Sky News

Entrance roads to the town have been blocked off, Sky News TV reported.

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French media are reporting that two people have been seriously injured in a gunfight, before hostages were taken.

RTL reporting at least two seriously injured in the gunfight, before hostages taken

Harriet Alexander@h_alexanderFollow

RTL reporting at least two seriously injured in the gunfight, before hostages taken

8:55 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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AFP is reporting that shots have been fired as part of a car chase northeast of Paris.

#BREAKING Shots fired in car chase north-east of Paris: police source

Agence France-Presse@AFPFollow

#BREAKING Shots fired in car chase north-east of Paris: police source

8:20 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Footage on Sky News shows a police convoy moving along the A2 motorway near Paris.

Images purporting to be of helicopters circling above the town have appeared on social media.

MT @Le_Figaro: Des hélicoptères survolent #DammartinEnGoele #CharlieHebdo #traque http://t.co/EocZznokvV ”

Mathieu von Rohr@mathieuvonrohrFollow

MT @Le_Figaro: Des hélicoptères survolent #DammartinEnGoele #CharlieHebdo #traque http://t.co/EocZznokvV ”

8:35 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

France's interior minister has confirmed an operation is underway.

Breaking: France's interior minister says operation underway to detain suspects northeast of Paris - AFP. Car chase in pogress #c4news

Channel 4 News@Channel4NewsFollow

Breaking: France's interior minister says operation underway to detain suspects northeast of Paris - AFP. Car chase in pogress #c4news

8:49 AM - 09 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Northern France remained on its highest terror alert on Thursday as SWAT teams and helicopters fanned out across the region seeking the brothers suspected of attacking satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The manhunt included more than 88,000 people, according to the French Ministry of the Interior.

Plus de 88 000 personnels sont engagés sur l'ensemble du territoire #CharlieHebdo #Montrouge http://t.co/WfctB5NLSx

Ministère Intérieur@Place_BeauvauFollow

Plus de 88 000 personnels sont engagés sur l'ensemble du territoire #CharlieHebdo #Montrouge http://t.co/WfctB5NLSx

8:33 AM - 08 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

By the early hours of Friday morning, however, no police sighting of the brothers had been confirmed.

CNN reported said investigators believed the brothers may have entered a wooded area on foot. Helicopters equipped with night vision tools flew over the area.

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President Barack Obama signed a book of condolences at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday evening and held a moment of silence for the victims.

AP Evan Vucci

Ambassador Gerard Araud and the president shook hands after Obama stood for a moment in silence, according to the White House pool report.

AP Evan Vucci

"On behalf of all Americans, I extend our deepest sympathy and solidarity to the people of France following the terrible terrorist attack in Paris. As allies across the centuries, we stand united with our French brothers and sisters to ensure that justice is done and our way of life is defended. We go forward together knowing that terror is no match for freedom and ideals we stand for — ideals that light the world. Vive la France! — Barack Obama."

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The New York Times on Thursday posted excerpts of a 2005 French documentary discussing suspect Cherif Kouachi's beginnings in radical Islam.

Kouachi served three years in prison for his involvement in sending extremist fighters to Iraq.

In the video, a social worker who exchanged letters with him following his arrest said Kouachi realized he had become caught up in the radical movement.

"He understood that he had been tricked and sucked into something that he himself didn't control or understand," social worker Ian Bourice said.

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U.S. authorities say one of the suspects trained with al-Qaeda in Yemen.

The New York Times reported Said Kouachi had spent several months in 2011 receiving military training from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), according to an unnamed senior U.S. official.

The 34-year-old spent "a few months" receiving terrorist weapons and combat training that he apparently utilized during the massacre on Charlie Hebdo, the official said, but it was not clear if the al-Qaeda cell ordered the attack.

CNN reported that one of the brothers may have also gone to Syria within the last year.

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Writer Michel Houellebecq will suspend promotion of his new book Soumission, and his agent said he is mourning the death of his friend and Charlie Hebdo writer Bernard Maris.

Jacky Naegelen / Reuters

Houllebecq's book imagines a future France living under Islamic law. A cartoon featuring him was the cover of Wednesday's edition of Charlie Hebdo.

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"I couldn't save them," a Charlie Hebdo columnist, who arrived at the office minutes after the attack, told AFP.

Patrick Pelloux, who would have usually been at the editorial meeting during which the attack took place, was away at another meeting in Paris when he got a call from the Charlie Hebdo office.

"I was at this meeting when Jean Luc, the graphic artist called me to tell me: 'You have to come here quickly, they have shot at us with a Kalashnikov,'" an emotional Pelloux told AFP. "I thought it was a joke, but it wasn't. When I arrived it was dreadful."

He arrived at the office three minutes after the attack while the gunmen were still shooting at people on the street. A fire department official with him triggered the emergency response.

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CNN captured the lights being turned off:

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