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[As it happened] France terror attacks manhunt


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[As it happened] France terror attacks manhunt

The two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting – brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi – have been killed in a shootout with police after they charged out of their hideout on an industrial estate in the French town of Dammartin-en-Goele.

At the same time an armed siege at a Jewish kosher supermarket near Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris ended with the hostage taker reportedly killed, but four of his captives are dead and four people were badly injured with 15 being unharmed.

The prime suspects in the attack on the French satirical magazine on Wednesday were holed up in a printing works warehouse after a high speed car chase and a gun battle with police at a road block earlier in the day.

A government source said the brothers had emerged from the building and opened fire on police before they were killed.

At almost the same time there were about half a dozen loud explosions heard at the Porte de Vincennes scene.

Police said the gunman – Amedy Coulibaly – was killed.

It emerged that gunmen at both siege locations had been speaking to a French TV station throughout the day and had been talking to each other. It seems that they coordinated the timing of the violent end of the sieges rather than the authorities.

In Dammartin-en-Goele, it had been reported that the Charlie Hebdo suspects had been holding a hostage, but it later emerged that they did not know that the 26-year-old man was in the building. He had remained hidden and had spoken to police by mobile phone.

The Kouachi brothers had reportedly said they were prepared to die as martyrs and French media reported they had tried to escape from the building firing on officers after the assault started.

Across France some 90,000 troops were involved in the security situations – an unprecedented number.

Businesses, homes and schools near the printworks were under lockdown and people warned to lock their doors and windows.

At the Paris siege Amedy Coulibaly had reportedly demanded the release of the brothers in return for him freeing hostages.

He is believed to be the same man who shot dead a policewoman in Montrouge in Paris on Thursday and was said to have had links to the same Islamist group as the brothers.

Police has also said they were looking for Coulibaly’s partner Hayat Boumeddiene. At one stage it was thought she was in the supermarket with him, but her whereabouts are not clear.

Cherif and Said Kouachi, the French-born sons of Algerian-born parents, both in their early 30s, were already known to the authorities before the attack. Cherif Kouachi was jailed for 18 months in 2008 for trying to travel to Iraq a decade ago to fight as part of an Islamist cell.

Dammartin-en-Goele is 40 km (25 miles) from the woodland zone where police had been hunting the two suspects on Thursday. It is also just a few kilometres away from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

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