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LIVE UPDATES: 'Charlie Hebdo' Suspects and Gunman in Paris Kosher Store Killed in Simultaneous Raids

At least four hostages were killed in a kosher shop in the French capital before security forces carried out twin assaults on the site and on a printworks 22 miles from Paris where the magazine attackers were holed up. Follow latest developments here.

by Hannah Strange
Jan 9 2015, 10:25am

Image via AFP/Getty

This is a VICE News live blog; please check back for regular updates. 

7.57pm local time (1.57pm ET)
President Hollande is now addressing the nation. You can watch his comments on the France 24 livestream, in English:

7.50pm local time (1.50pm ET)
France's BFMTV has reported that it spoke to Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman inside the Paris kosher store, by telephone during the siege. It says that he told them he was part of the Islamic State. However, the station also reported that it spoke to the Kouachi brothers inside the Dammartin industrial complex, and that they said once again they were affiliated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

It is worth noting that the Islamic State has called on sympathizers worldwide to ally themselves to it and carry out attacks in Western countries, particularly France. So a claim of association with IS may not translate to any genuine links.

You can listen to the audio messages from the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly here (FRENCH):

7.23pm local time (1.23pm ET)
President Hollande is due to address the nation shortly. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has been speaking on the ground in Paris, where he has praised the bravery of security forces involved in the operation and said that the investigation is still ongoing. The female suspect who escaped the Vincennes kosher store, named as Hayat Boumedienne, is still the subject of a manhunt.

6.58pm local time (12.58pm ET)
AFP has posted footage of the moment that security forces launched their assault on the kosher store in Vincennes, eastern Paris. The video, which can be watched on YouTube, shows four loud explosions and smoke billowing out from the front of the shop before large numbers of armed police, from the BRI elite unit, enter it. Several ambulances are stationed outside.

Image via YouTube/AFP

6.46pm local time (12.46pm ET)
AFP has reported that in addition to the four hostages killed at the Paris kosher store, another four are understood to be seriously injured. A number of ambulances were seen racing along the roads around the site.

6.30pm local time (12.30pm ET)
There is little celebration in Vincennes, eastern Paris, where the hostage situation at a kosher store led to the deaths of four hostages. But in Dammartin, where no lives were lost aside from those of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen, the mood is more cheerful, reports our correspondent John Beck.

6.19pm local time (12.19pm ET)
The female suspect who was reported to have been inside the Paris kosher shop along with the male gunman has escaped, according to security officials speaking to the media. It is unclear how she managed to flee the site. 

6.09pm local time (12.09pm ET)

Four hostages in the kosher supermarket in eastern Paris have been killed, according to security officials. They were said to have been killed by the gunman after he entered the supermarket. There have been some reports that a fifth person may have also died though that has not been confirmed. Two police officers were also reported injured during the raid.

5.35pm local time (11.35am ET)
French media are reporting that the gunman at the Vincennes supermarket has also been killed. Several hostages have been freed, they say, though this has not yet been confirmed.

5.32pm local time (11.32pm ET)
Officials have now confirmed that the assault on the Dammartin complex where the Charlie Hebdo suspects were holding a hostage has been successful.

According to AFP, the two gunmen came out firing at security forces and were killed, and the hostage has been freed.

5.25pm local time (11.25am ET)
Dual, simultaneous assaults have been launched on both the Dammartin industrial complex where the Charlie Hebdo suspects have been holding a hostage, and on the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in eastern Paris where another gunman has taken a number of other hostages.

It is currently unclear what the results of the raids have been, with conflicting reports as to whether the Charlie Hebdo suspects have been killed or not.

AFP has this live feed from the scene of the Jewish supermarket in Vincennes. Gunfire and explosions have been reported at both sites.

5.20pm local time (11.20am ET)
AFP has reported that the suspected gunmen in the Charlie Hebdo massacre have been killed in a security force assault on the industrial complex where they have been holding a hostage since this morning.

However, Reuters is citing an official is saying that the assault has been "without result."

5.17pm local time (11.17am ET)
Four explosions have been heard at the site of the Hypercacher supermarket in Vincennes where a gunman has threatened to kill his hostages in the event of an assault on the industrial complex where the Kouachi brothers are holed up, according to a Reuters witness.

5.10pm local time (11.10am ET)
Sky News has posted video of the assault that has been launched on the industrial complex in Dammartin where the Kouachi brothers are holed up. 

The gunmen in Vincennes earlier threatened to shoot his hostages in the Jewish supermarket if security forces storrmed the Dammartin site. So far there have been no reports of any activity there.

5.00pm local time (11am ET)
Police have launched an assault on the industrial complex where the Kouachi brothers are holed up with a hostage, according to AFP. Smoke has been seen coming out of the building and gunfire has been heard. VICE News has seen ambulances racing towards the area.

4.45pm local time (10.45am ET)
French police say the gunmen inside the Hypercacher supermarket has threatened to kill his hostages if security forces storm the printworks in Dammartin where the Kouachi brothers are holed up, also with a hostage.

The Hypercacher gunman, named by police as Amedy Coulibaly, is said by security forces to have links with the brothers. What is not known, however, is if this is a coordinated effort, of whether the Paris shooter is acting of his own accord in a gesture of solidarity with the Kouachis.

The atmosphere in the Vincennes area is tense, with footage posted on social media showing residents arguing on the Cours de Vincennes.

 4.30pm local time (10.30am ET)

The Associated Press has cited a Yemeni official as saying that one of the Kouachi brothers may have fought with al Qaeda in Yemen.

The gunmen were reported to have told the journalist who let them into the Charlie Hebdo offices at gunpoint that they were al Qaeda, and there have been previous suggestions from US and European intelligence sources that they may have had links to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is the branch active in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

The AP reported: "A Yemeni security official says Said Kouachi, one of the brothers involved in the deadly attack against a Paris newspaper, is suspected of having fought for al Qaeda in the country.

"Another senior security official says Kouachi was in Yemen until 2012.

"Both officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of an ongoing investigation into Kouachi's stay in Yemen.

"Kouachi is suspected of joining the militants at the time when Yemen's al Qaeda branch overran entire parts of the south amid the turmoil that engulfed the country during its Arab Spring uprising."

4.00pm local time (10.00am ET)
Stephane Arnaud, the photo deputy editor-in-chief for AFP, has posted an image of residents being evacuated in the area of Saint-Mande, close to the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood where the Hypercacher kosher supermarket at the center of the latest hostage situation is located.

Meanwhile, AP has reported that police have ordered all shops closed in Le Marais, a well-known Jewish neighborhood in the central tourist area of Paris. 

3.45pm local time (9.45am ET)
The siege surrounding the two Charlie Hebdo massacre gunmen remains relatively static, and there are suggestions from security analysts that the delicate situation could take hours, even days to resolve. 

Photos by Etienne Rouillon

Our correspondent John Beck in Dammartin-en-Goele writes: "Dozens of journalists from around the world are gathered on top of a roundabout on an access road to Dammartin-en-Goele with their cameras trained on the village. Police continue to block access to members of the press but are allowing local residents into the village.

'We want to tell them that the path of Islam we take is separate from theirs and that they do not have the right to do this. All they do is create hate.'

"Onlookers include two young men from the Parisian suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois around 15 miles away, who told VICE News that they were Muslims and travelled to Dammartin-en-Goele in the hope of talking with the two suspects and convincing them to stop. 'We want to tell them that the path of Islam we take is separate from theirs and that they do not have the right to do this. All they do is create hate.'"

3.25pm local time (9.20am ET)
President Hollande has been coordinating the response to today's events from the "situation room" at the Interior Ministry. Yesterday, the government announced that 88,000 security personnel including police, border agents, members of the gendarmarie, and troops are engaged in the operation to capture the Charlie Hebdo gunmen.

Earlier, he defended the decision to involve France in the international fight against the Islamic State, and in the battle against Islamist militants in West Africa, which some have criticized as making the country a target for retaliation.

3.12pm local time (9.12am ET)
Video footage of the area around the Vincennes kosher supermarket shows heavily armed police surrounding the site. The hostage taker, who has been named as Amedy Coulibaly, one of the suspects in yesterday's shooting of a policewoman in Montrouge, is said to be armed with two assault rifles.

3pm local time (9am ET)It has now been confirmed that two people have been killed inside the Jewish supermarket. Other hostages are also inside, possibly including women and children.

There is an enormous security force presence in the area, which is on lockdown.

2.50pm local time (8.50am ET)
French police have now confirmed that the hostage-taker inside the Vincennes shop is Amedy Coulibaly, one of the two suspects sought in relation to yesterday's killing of a policewoman in Montrouge.

A 26-year-old woman, Hayat Boumedienne, is also wanted over the Montrouge attack. There is no suggestion at this point that she is also involved in the ongoing siege at the Vincennes site. 

2.45pm local time (8.45am ET)
Police have released images of two suspects in yesterday's shooting of a policewoman in Montrouge, southern Paris. Officials have suggested that the hostage-taker in the Vincennes kosher supermarket is the man involved in that killing. It is unclear whether the female suspect is also believed to be involved.  

2.30pm local time (8.30am ET)
It increasingly appears that that there is a degree of coordination between the suspected gunmen holed up in Dammartin, reportedly holding one hostage, and the shooter at a Jewish shop in Vincennes. The area around the shop has been evacuated and police are reportedly in communication with the man, who is said to have demanded that the siege at Dammartin be lifted.

2.25pm local time (8.25am ET)
AFP reports that there are at least five hostages and that at least two people have been killed. There are reports in the French media that the attacker was carrying two assault rifles and that shots were fired as he entered the shop, in which there were women and children.

The BBC reports that he has communicated with police — though it is not clear how — and said "You know who I am." He has also reportedly told police they need to lift the siege of the suspected Charlie Hebdo gunmen in Dammartin.

2.10pm local time (8.10am ET)
There are reports in French media that there may be multiple hostages inside the kosher supermarket in Vincennes, perhaps as many as five — though this has not been independently confirmed. It has also been reported that the individual involved may be the same man who yesterday shot a policewoman in Montrouge, southern Paris, who earlier was said by police to be linked to the Kouachi brothers.

Le Monde reports: "According to our information from the Ministry of the Interior, an armed man is holed up in a kosher store of the Porte de Vincennes, it is likely that he holds the hostages. It is "likely" that it is the presumed Montrouge killer."

1.48pm local time (7.48am ET)

We have more detail now on the incident unfolding in Vincennes, eastern Paris. Police are outside the supermarket, where it has been reported that one hostage has been taken, and one person wounded.

There have been some suggestions that there may be more than one hostage, though this has not been confirmed.

1.35pm local time (7.35am ET)

AFP is reporting on Twitter that another incident has occurred in Paris. The details are not yet clear and the reports have not been independently confirmed. We will bring you more on this as we have it.

France Info reports that the incident has occurred in a kosher supermarket in Vincennes, eastern Paris.

1.30pm local time (7.30am ET)
It has been reported that there is one hostage with the gunmen inside the CTD printworks.

1.15pm local time (7.15am ET)
French police now say that the shooting of a policewoman in Paris yesterday was linked to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, according to AFP.

The situation in Paris is still tense, with heavily armed soldiers patrolling landmarks including the Eiffel Tower.

800 soldiers were deployed in Paris yesterday following the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

1.05pm local time (7.05am ET)
Local residents in Dammartin-en-Goële have reportedly been told to stay inside and turn the lights out. Three nearby schools have also been evacuated, according to local council officials, and the children are to be reunited with their parents at a nearby sports center.

One resident, Lyece Imshal told BBC Radio 5 live: "Policemen are in the street. Everything is blocked. They told us to stay in the house, and to not go outside. It's like in a film, in a war movie. Everywhere there are helicopters."

12.52pm local time (6.52am ET)

VICE News correspondent John Beck is on the ground in Dammartin-en-Goële. He writes: "Security at the scene is extraordinarily tight, with huge numbers of armed police blocking access roads some distance from Dammartin-en-Goële and helicopters periodically circling overhead despite appalling weather conditions and poor visibility. Emergency services vehicles are still arriving from Paris. Media have been kept far from the scene, which is on a security lockdown, but for now all seems relatively quiet.

"Local residents seem to be in a state of stunned disbelief, and trucks which had been headed to the industrial complex where the hostage situation is taking place are now stopped at nearby petrol stations.

"A driver who had been scheduled to make a delivery to a supermarket depot in Dammartin-en-Goële told VICE News that the area in which the suspects are now holed up was a primarily industrial zone with no schools or other residences. He said there were likely a number of workers and management in the industrial park when the men arrived. "It's terrible what happened," he said. "They were just people going to work, and now some are hostages."

12.45pm local time (6.45am ET)
More details now from this morning's events at the industrial complex. France Info Radio reports that a salesman shook the hand of one of the suspected gunmen when he arrived at the CTD printing company facility to meet the owner this morning. 

"We all shook hands and my client told me to leave," he said. An armed man, who the salesman thought was a policeman, then told him that he could go because they did not kill civilians. "I thought that was strange," he added.

French media are reporting that the men have since told police, with whom they are in contact from inside the building, that they are from "al-Qaeda in Yemen," and that they are prepared to "die through martyrdom."

The CTD company is said to be a small business with around five staff members.

12.25pm local time (6.25am ET) 
President François Hollande has given a statement at the Interior Ministry. He has acknowledged that French authorities knew "attacks were possible." He also confirmed a meeting of EU interior ministers on Sunday, adding that it is imperative to "act at the world level." 

"The Prime Minister is in close liaison with countries for intelligence, information. This does not prevent from controlling our borders but at the same time , the right to asylum, it is our responsibility."

The French leader also commented on a rally in support of Charlie Hebdo planned for Sunday, saying that that security measures must be taken for that and other demonstrations expected. "All citizens are welcome," he added.

Hollande told the people of France: "I have faith in you, in our country. Everyone showed their capacity to unite and show a united front.

"We need to show that we can live together, in peace, for our common future.

"France has a strong state. This is a great strength, a guarantee. A strong state with civil servants working for the general interest and dedicating their life to their mission. 

Regarding the terror threat, he said: "We have been aware for several months that there were attempts (to attack France). We managed to avoid them. Many times, there have been attacks that have not been possible. Others have occurred. We must do everything to protect our citizens."

12.05pm local time (6am ET)
Dammartin-en-Goële, a town of 8,500 people, is located around nine miles from Charles De Gaulle Airport. There were earlier reports that the airport, Paris's largest, had been partially closed; however authorities have since denied that, saying it is only experiencing delays.

Yesterday, police searched for the two gunmen house by house in three small villages in the area — Courcy, Abbaye de Longpont and Crépy-en-Valois, before losing trace of the suspects. This morning, they hijacked a car, the driver recognizing the two Kouachi brothers. The men then reportedly drove for 20 to 30 kilometers before being stopped by a barricade, where there was a shooting. Counter-terrorism police have denied reports of deaths, though there were said to be some injuries.

They then entered an industrial park and are holed up in a facility of the printing company CTD.

President François Hollande has just given a statement at the Interior Ministry — we'll be bringing you more on this next.

11.40am local time (5.40am ET)
VICE News correspondents John Beck and Etienne Rouillon are on the ground in Danmartin-en-Goele. A large area around the industrial complex has been cordoned off as security forces pour into the zone en masse. A large number of helicopters are circling overhead, flying extremely low amid difficult weather conditions. 

Images by Etienne Rouillon

11.20am local time (5.20am ET)
Good morning and welcome to the VICE News live blog of the manhunt underway in northern France, as security forces pursue the suspected gunmen in the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre.

Shots have been fired at Dammartin-en-Goele, 22 miles (35km) to the north-east of Paris, and there are reports of a hostage situation inside an industrial complex, in the facilities of the company CTD (Création Tendance Découverte).

French Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed that an operation to "neutralize the culprits" of the attack against Charlie Hebdo was on its way. 

Negotiations are reported to be underway and there is a heavy security force presence on the ground, with convoys of 10 to 20 vehicles at a time passing on nearby roads, carrying heavily armed police in body armor. At least seven helicopters have been deployed and are circling low overhead.

Several people have apparently been wounded in the industrial zone but officials have denied reports of deaths. 

The reported hostage situation comes 48 hours after the massacre at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, when at least two heavily armed and black-hooded gunmen shot 12 people dead, including the editor, three cartoonists and two police officers. 

The shooters, who have been identified as the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, fled the capital by car following the attack. The search zeroed in on the rural area in the department of Aisne, north-east of Paris, after the suspects were spotted at a gas station in the area yesterday.

Follow Hannah Strange on Twitter: @hannahkstrange

Additional reporting from John Beck, Melodie Bouchaud and Etienne Rouillon