الإثنين , يونيو 15 2020

World leaders due at vast Paris rally

A woman lights a light candle outside the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris

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Tributes have been paid to the victims of the terror attacks in France

Huge crowds and some 40 world leaders are expected in Paris for a unity march in the French capital after three days of terror left saw 17 people killed.

The rally is expected to dwarf marches across France on Saturday that saw 700,000 people take to the streets.

About 2,000 police officers and 1,350 soldiers are being deployed in Paris to protect more than a million marchers.

Police are seeking accomplices of the gunmen who attacked satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.

Eleven people were killed at the magazine offices on Wednesday, with a policeman shot dead nearby. Four hostages died at the supermarket on Friday.

At the Elysee Palace ahead of Sunday’s march, President Francois Hollande met leaders from the Jewish community, which is still in shock after gunman Amedy Coulibaly attacked the Hyper Cacher store in eastern Paris.

He is also believed to have shot dead a policewoman on Thursday.

He died at the scene but his partner, Hayat Boumeddiene, is still wanted by police – though she is thought to have fled France last week.

Officials believe she may have entered Turkey en route to Syria.



Hayat Boumeddiene

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Amid the mourning, the hunt for accomplices continues

Extra security

The interior minister says France will stay on high alert in the coming weeks.

Bernard Cazeneuve will host a meeting on Sunday morning of fellow interior ministers from across Europe, including the UK’s Theresa May, to discuss the threat posed by militants.

Mr Cazeneuve promised “exceptional measures” for the massive unity march in Paris on Sunday, including positioning snipers on roofs.

The foreign leaders expected to attend the rally include UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The march, which will be led by relatives of the victims of last week’s attacks, will leave Place de la Republique at 15:00 local time (14:00 GMT).

Thousands walk during a tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks in Toulouse, Southern France, 10 January 2014Hundreds of thousands took to the streets on Saturday, with placards reading: “I am against racism”

It will offer France the chance to unite against the violence that began on Wednesday when two brothers raided the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12 people – including eight journalists and two police officers, with 11 people also injured.

They were eventually cornered on Friday and were shot dead by police as police moved against them and Coulibaby at the same time.

Stories have been emerging of how ordinary people caught up in the attacks defied the gunmen.

At the supermarket, one employee hid shoppers in a cold storage room, while the manager of the printworks seized by the Kouachi brothers managed to hide another employee for hours.



Police officers stand guard at the site of the attack on a kosher market on January 10, 2015 in Paris, France

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Lucy Williamson on how a supermarket employee hid shoppers in a freezer

Meanwhile, there has been an arson attack at the offices of a German newspaper that reprinted Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

No-one was hurt in the assault on the Hamburg Morning Post in the early hours of Sunday, in which rocks and a burning object were thrown through a window. Two young men have been arrested.

‘Act of barbarity’

Relatives of the victims spoke out about the France attacks on Saturday.

The family of Ahmed Merabet, one of the police officers killed during Wednesday’s attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine, said they were “devastated by this act of barbarity”.

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



Merabet family

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Brother of policeman says he was killed by men pretending to be Muslims

Meanwhile, the family of gunman Amedy Coulibaly has also condemned the attacks.

In a statement, Coulibaly’s mother and sister offered “sincere condolences” to the families of the victims, and said: “We absolutely do not share these extreme ideas. We hope there will not be any confusion between these odious acts and the Muslim religion.”

Nearly a quarter of a million people held marches in France on Saturday to condemn the attacks, with large crowds gathering in Paris, Orleans, Nice, Pau, Toulouse and Nantes.

During the marches, people held banners that read “I am against racism”, “unity”, or “I am Charlie” – the latter a reference to the magazine.

Addressing a large gathering outside the kosher supermarket that was targeted, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: “Today, we are all Charlie, we are all police officers, we are all Jews of France.”

He said he had “no doubt that millions of citizens will come to express their love of liberty, their love of fraternity” in Paris on Sunday.

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How the attacks unfolded (all times GMT)

Map of Paris showing the locations of three deadly attacks in January 2015

  • Wednesday 7 January 10:30 – Two masked gunmen enter Charlie Hebdo offices, killing 12 people, including the magazine’s editor. Shortly after the attack, the gunmen kill a police officer nearby.
  • 11:00 – Police lose track of the men after they abandon their getaway car and hijack another vehicle. They are later identified as brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.
  • Thursday 8 January 08:45 -A lone gunman shoots dead a policewoman and injures a man in the south of Paris. Gunman later identified as Amedy Coulibaly.
  • 10:30 – The Kouachi brothers rob a a service station near Villers-Cotterets, in the Aisne region, but disappear again.
  • Friday 9 January 08:30 – Police exchange gunfire with the Kouachi brothers during a car chase on the National 2 highway northeast of Paris.
  • 10:00 – Police surround the brothers at an industrial building in at Dammartin-en-Goele, 35km (22 miles) from Paris.
  • 12:15 – Coulibaly reappears and takes several people hostage at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris. Heavily-armed police arrive and surround the store.
  • 16:00 – Kouachi brothers come out of the warehouse, firing at police. They are both shot dead.
  • 16:15 – Police storm the kosher supermarket in Paris, killing Coulibaly and rescuing 15 hostages. The bodies of four hostages are recovered.

Three days of terror

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