Death of gunmen and hostages as France hunts down Charlie Hebdo terrorists

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via Mail Online

The Charlie Hebdo gunmen and their accomplice have been killed by special forces as two hostage sieges came to a bloody climax across France.

At the first stand-off, Al Qaeda brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi were shot dead by police as they tried to fight their way out of a print works.

Their hostage, named as Michel Catalano, is believed to have survived.

Moments later, police stormed a second siege in Paris where a fellow jihadi had been threatening to kill his captives if the Kouachis were not let free.

The gunmen, who had taken up to ten hostages in the kosher supermarket was killed, but four [hostages] are believed to have died.

Some hostages survived by hiding in the cold store where the gunmen was unaware of their presence because they kept silent for hours, it has been reported. A number of other hostages were seen fleeing for their lives.

The gunman, Amedy Coulibay, was suspected of murdering a police officer yesterday.

via Daily Mail

via Daily Mail

He is thought to have been working with his ‘armed and dangerous’ girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene, whose whereabouts is unknown.

Gunfire and explosions had been heard at the first hostage siege after police had surrounded the gunmen at an industrial estate 25 miles from Paris.

The siege reached a bloody climax when the brothers reportedly ‘came out firing’ after a nine-hour stand-off.

They had earlier told police negotiators: ‘We are ready to die as martyrs’.

At around 4.30pm, people living nearby reported hearing three or four loud explosions followed by several gunshots.

More explosions followed and smoke could be seen rising from the building. Others reported seeing ambulances race to the scene.

A short time later three French special forces officers could be seen on the roof of the building.

Then, at around 5.30 pm, three large helicopters arrived at the scene and landed on the roof. The hostage was named as Michel Catalano.

His family were gathered at their detached home in the nearby village of Othis as the siege came to a dramatic end in Dammartin-en-Goele.

police had earlier scrambled phone signals in the area after the gunmen contacted Coulibay while inside the building.

Revelations that a call was made by the Kouachis suggests they may have instructed Coulibay to carry out today’s atrocity to leverage their escape.

There were reports of another alert near the Eiffel Tower, with police seen training their guns down the stairs of a Metro station, but it was a false alarm.

Local media reports that the brothers met Coulibay while in prison.

He is believed to be a fellow member of the Buttes Chaumont – a gang from the 19th arrondissement of Paris that sent jihadists to fight in Iraq.

The Kouachis were cornered in Dammartin-en-Goele, around 25 miles from the capital, this morning after leading police on a dramatic car chase.

After exchanging gunfire with officers, they fled on foot into printing works where they are holding a hostage, believed to be a 26-year-old male.

A salesman called Didier later told how he was supposed to meet a client called Michel at the print works, but was instead met by one of the gunmen.

He said he shook hands with the militant because he had identified himself as a police officer and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle.

He said: ‘When I arrived, my client came out with an armed man who said he was from the police.

‘My client told me to leave so I left,’ Didier said, identifying the man he was to meet with as Michel.’

He said the black-clad man who was wearing a bullet-proof vest told him: ‘Leave, we don’t kill civilians anyhow’.

‘That really struck me,’ Didier added. ‘So I decided to call the police. I guess it was one of the terrorists.

‘It could have been a policeman if he hadn’t told me “we don’t kill civilians”. They were heavily armed like elite police.’

‘I didn’t know it was a hostage situation, or a robbery. I just knew something wasn’t quite right. I think I am going to go and see my colleagues and play the lottery because I was very lucky this morning.’

Snipers had their weapons trained on the building and helicopters were hovering overhead as negotiations were underway with the Islamic fanatics.

Runways have been closed at Charles de Gaulle airport, around five miles away over fears the gunmen have rocket launchers that can down planes.

Police confirmed a hostage had been taken and that officers are ‘trying to establish contact’ with the suspects.

We live in a benign strategic environment.

Spying on a few dozen suspects in New Zealand is eroding our civil liberties.

Nothing to worry about then.

After all, these were just some disorganised, lone wolf, madmen.  Nothing to do with terrorism, nothing to do with Jihad, nothing to do with radical Islam.

– Daily Mail


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