By Lisa Bryant – PARIS—French authorities say the two suspects in Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo attack have been killed and their hostage freed during a police raid north of Paris. A separate raid in the capital killed another gunman holding multiple hostages at a kosher supermarket.
Explosions and gunfire sounded as police moved in Friday on the warehouse in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele where suspects Cherif and Said Kouachi were holed up. Reports say the brothers came out shooting before being killed by police.
In Paris, security forces stormed a supermarket near the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood, killing the gunman who was holding at least five hostages. There were conflicting reports about the hostages’ fate immediately after the siege was broken.
Police sources have linked Coulabaly to the Kouachi brothers, suspected of slaughtering 12 people with high-powered weapons in Wednesday’s Charlie Hebdo attack.
Before the gunshots erupted Friday afternoon in Dammartin-en-Goele, French security forces said they were in contact with the brothers, who had at least one hostage with them.
Dammartin-en-Goele is near Charles DeGaulle international airport. The local mayor has warned residents to stay indoors.
More than 88,000 police and security forces have been searching for the brothers. A third suspect in the Charlie Hebdo shootings, 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, surrendered to police on Wednesday. His connection to the gunmen remains unclear.
In Thursday’s shooting, a policewoman was gunned down while responding to a traffic accident in the Montrouge area just south of the capital.
Right now, we have to do everything to ensure the protection of our citizens,” French President Francois Holland told government officials at a meeting Friday at the Interior Ministry in Paris, Reuters reported.
As a precaution, police on Friday also ordered the closing of all shops in central Paris’ famed Jewish Marais neighborhood. It’s about a kilometer from the Charlie Hedbo offices and much farther from the developing hostage situations. As The Associated Press reported, the district’s Rosiers Street usually teems with tourists and with French Jews in the hours before the Sabbath.