UPDATE: 11:30 AM EST
According to the Le Monde newspaper and the Associated Press, the Charlie Hebdo suspects were killed in assault by security forces in Dammartin-en-Goele.
BREAKING: Police official: Suspects in Charlie Hebdo massacre killed, hostage freed.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 9, 2015
The manhunt for two gunmen suspected of killing 12 at a satirical Paris magazine known for their controversial depictions of Islam took another brutal turn Friday, when police cornered the brothers in an intense hostage standoff.
Another standoff near Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris has left at least one injured, police say. The suspect, Amedy Coulibaly, is one of two people wanted in the Thursday shooting of a policewoman in south Paris. The 32-year-old is thought to be holding six people hostage in a kosher store.
It is unknown if anyone has been killed.
Meanwhile, about 25 miles northeast of Paris in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, police surrounded a building they believe brothers Cherif Kouachi and Said Kouachi, who stormed Charlie Hebdo offices earlier this week, are housed in. There are reports of hostages inside, but Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre Henri Brandet has not confirmed the reports to be true.
Negotiations are underway. The suspects reportedly told police they want to die as martyrs.
Meanwhile, in Dammartin-en-Goele, Brandet tweeted that negotiating teams have made it their top priority trying to establish a dialogue with the extremists inside the building. Yves Albarello, who is in France’s parliament, said on French channel iTele that the two suspects told police by phone that they wanted to die as martyrs.
A salesman, who identified himself only as Didier, told France Info radio that he shook one of the gunman’s hands as they arrived around 8:30 a.m. Friday at a Dammartin-en-Goele printing business — the same place where the Kouachi brothers are believed to be surrounded. Didier told the public radio station that he first thought the man, who was dressed in black and heavily armed, was a police officer.
As he left, the armed man said, “Go, we don’t kill civilians.” Didier said, “It wasn’t normal. I did not know what was going on.”
Dammartin-en-Goele residents have been told to stay inside, and schools are on lockdown, the mayor’s media office told CNN on Friday. Shops in the town have been told to close.
The third suspect from the Charlie Hebdo massacre, 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, turned himself into police earlier this week.
It was not immediately known if the two standoff situations are related. Police are investigating. This is a developing story.
To learn more about the Charlie Hebdo suspects, see below:
– Cherif, 32, has already spent time in jail for terrorism connections and is known to French intelligence services. In 2005, he was arrested as he was preparing to trek to Iraq by way of Syria.
– He was arrested again in 2008 and sentenced to three years in prison for being part of a jihadist recruitment ring in Paris. He didn’t spend much time behind bars — authorities determined he spent enough time in pre-trial detention.
– In court after his 2005 arrest, Cherif told the court that he was “motivated by American troops’ abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.” He reportedly said this to the judge about his arrest: “The closer the departure got, the more I wanted to turn back,” he told the judge, according to Le Monde. “But if I chickened out, I was in danger of looking like a coward.”
– And in 2010, Cherif was charged again in connection with a plot to break out Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, an Algerian Islamist imprisoned for bombing a Paris commuter rail station in 1995, according to CNN. Charges were later dropped.
– Said, 34, was also a part of the 2010 prison-break case, according to French police. There was not, however, any evidence to tie him down in the case. An investigation was called off.
– He’s managed to keep a low profile, unlike his brother, and police are currently investigating if he has any connections with international terrorist groups.
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.
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