الإثنين , يونيو 15 2020

Paris tightens security after attacks

Siege ending as Kouachi brothers are shot dead by police

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Caroline Hawley reports as more details of the operation to end the attacks emerge

Some 500 extra troops are being deployed around Paris after three days of terror in the French capital killed 17 people.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said all necessary measures were being taken to protect the country.

Police in France are hunting for any accomplices of three gunmen killed by police on Friday after two sieges.

More than 210,000 people have taken part in silent marches across France to remember the victims.

After a security cabinet meeting on Saturday, Mr Cazeneuve said France would remain on its highest state of alert “for the next few weeks”.

He promised tight security for a massive unity march in Paris on Sunday.

Those set to attend Sunday’s unity rally include UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“Sunday, the French people will cry out their love of liberty,” said Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

France would be “firm and relentless in the face of the enemies of liberty”, he added, urging all people to “assume their responsibilities”.

Family ‘devastated’

Silent marches have held in cities including Paris, Orleans, Nice, Pau, Toulouse and Nantes to remember the victims of this week’s violence.

Some protesters held banners that read “I am against racism”, “unite”, or “I am Charlie”, in reference to Charlie Hebo, the satirical magazine whose offices were attacked on Wednesday.



Merabet family

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Ahmed Merabet’s brother Malik: “He was killed by people who pretend to be Muslims. They are terrorists, that’s it”

The family of Ahmed Merabet, one of the police officers killed during Wednesday’s attack, gave an emotional news conference on Saturday.

Mr Merabet was “Muslim, and very proud of being a police officer and defending the values of the Republic”, his brother Malek Merabet said.

He added that the family was “devastated by this act of barbarity, and shared the pain of the families of all the victims”.

“I want to say to all the racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic people, that one must not amalgamate extremists and Muslims,” Mr Merabet’s brother added.

The family said they were “proud” of the gatherings that had taken place to commemorate the victims, saying they proved that France could be united.

People march during a rally along the sea front of Nice, France, 10 January 2015Solidarity marches for victims of the attacks have been held across France

Hostages’ bodies

The violence began when two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, killed 12 people and injured 11 in an attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine on Wednesday.

On Friday, the brothers were killed by police in Dammartin-en-Goele, 35km (22 miles) north of Paris, as they emerged from a besieged warehouse building firing their automatic weapons.

One hostage had earlier been released and a second employee, who was hiding in the building’s cafeteria, was freed by police.



France attacks: Local residents' reaction

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Local residents from Porte de Vincennes in Paris tell the BBC about life in a “working melting pot” at the end of a deadly siege

Police shortly afterwards launched an assault on a supermarket in eastern Paris where gunman Amedy Coulibaly had been holding several hostages.

Police killed Coulibaly and rescued 15 hostages. They found the bodies of four hostages who are believed to have been killed before the assault.

The four victims have been identified as Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen, and Francois-Michel Saada. Their names were released by the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions.

Police are searching for Hayat Boumeddiene, Coulibaly’s partner. She was said to be with Coulibaly when a policewoman was killed in Paris on Thursday, and is described as “armed and dangerous”.

Undated photo of Amedy Coulibaly (left) and Hayat BoumeddienePolice are searching for Hayat Boumeddiene, Coulibaly’s partner

Security officials have said they were aware of Coulibaly and the two brothers. Said Kouachi was known to have travelled to Yemen in 2011.

Both brothers are understood to have been on UK and US watch-lists.

While holed up in the warehouse north of Paris, Cherif Kouachi phoned a French TV news network and told them he was acting on behalf of the Yemen branch of al-Qaeda (AQAP), having been financed by its leader Anwar al-Awlaki before he was killed by a US drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

The extremist group released an audio message late on Friday praising the attacks but stopped short of claiming responsibility.

Earlier on Friday, a man claiming to be Coulibaly told French TV station BFMTV that he was a member of the Islamic State militant group, and that he had “co-ordinated” his attack with the Kouachi brothers.

Mr Molins confirmed that Coulibaly knew one of the brothers and their respective partners had spoken on the phone more than 500 times.

No details have been released of those people killed in the Hyper Cacher, but testimonies of those caught up in the sieges have helped paint a picture of how events unfolded.

Map

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How Friday unfolded (all times GMT)

07:00 – The Kouachi brothers hijack a car in Montagny-Sainte-Felicite, north of Paris. They are said to be carrying weapons including a rocket launcher.

08:30 – Pursued along the N2 road towards Paris, they exchange fire with police and take refuge in a printing works in Dammartin-en-Goele. They take the manager hostage.

10:30 – The manager is released, but another employee remains in the building.

12:15 – A man identified as Amedy Coulibaly takes several people hostage at a supermarket near Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris. Coulibaly is also suspected of having shot dead a policewoman on Thursday.

16:00 – The brothers emerge in Dammartin, opening fire on police. Both men are killed. The trapped employee is released and tells police he had been hiding on the second floor, unknown to the gunmen.

16:15 – Security forces move into the supermarket in Paris and kill Coulibaly. It emerges that four hostages at the supermarket have been killed, but 15 others are freed.

What we know so far

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