Two brothers believed to be behind Wednesday’s attack on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were killed on Friday, Agence France Presse reported, the culmination of a dramatic day in which France was shaken by two simultaneous hostage crises.
Police cornered brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi on Friday inside a printing house in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele near Charles de Gaulle International Airport, where the suspects were holed up since Friday morning.
Police also conducted a raid on a kosher supermarket in Paris where a gunman opened fire and took several people hostage. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that the gunman killed four people when he entered the supermarket. The gunman himself was killed in the police assault.
Police forces storm the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery store in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris, France on January 9, 2015.
According to The Associated Press, the market shooter had earlier threatened to hurt the hostages if police raided the building where the Kouachi brothers were holed up.
Police released a photo of the market shooter, who was identified as Amedy Coulibaly, and a woman named Hayat Boumedienne, who is believed to be his accomplice. The FBI wrote on Twitter that French police are looking for Boumedienne. Her whereabouts on Friday are still unclear.
Coulibaly is also believed to be a suspect in yesterday’s killing of a policewoman on the southern edge of Paris.
Several outlets reported Friday that Coulibaly had a history of crime and violence.
Police told the Associated Press that Coulibaly appeared to know Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi. The three men are believed to have been members of the same Paris jihadist cell that sent French fighters to Iraq a decade ago, a police source told Reuters. According to France’s L’Obs, Coulibaly spent time with Cherif Kouachi when they were both in prison in Fleury-Mérogis between 2005 and 2006.
Coulibaly was sentenced in 2010 for his part in an effort to free Islamist militant Smain Ali Belkacem from jail, Reuters reported. The BBC noted that the two Kouachi brothers were also named in connection to the attack, but not charged because of a lack of evidence.
Le Monde reported Friday that there were reports the brothers had taken one person hostage in Dammartin-en-Goele, but there is no confirmation of those reports, nor is information available about the hostage’s identity. The Guardian writes that the hostage was freed during the police raid, but there is no official confirmation of that news.
Police negotiators tried to make contact with the suspects throughout the day on Friday….