PARIS — Two days after the deadly terror assault on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, France lived through another day of violence, fear and national soul-searching. A pair of hostage standoffs culminated in simultaneous raids late Friday by police that killed the presumed authors of Wedneday's attack, as well as a fellow Islamist terrorist accused of killing a police officer. Here are some of the key events.
1.SUSPECTS SURROUNDED Following a car chase, police surrounded Said and Cherif Kouachi, the brothers suspected of carrying out the killings at Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead. The brothers took refuge in the premises of a printing firm in Dammartin-en-Goele, 22 miles northeast of Paris . A graphic designer for the company was able to hide upstairs when the gunman entered without them being aware of his presence. Reports suggest the owner of the company, Michel Catalano was taken hostage. A tense hours-long standoff would ensue.
2.KOSHER MARKET A gunman believed to be Amedy Coulibaly, who has been linked to the killing of a policewoman on Thursday stormed into a kosher supermarket near the Porte de Vincennes in the east of Paris, taking at least 8 people hostage in the early afternoon.
3.BFM-TV Journalists from French news channel BFM-TV spoke to Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly during the standoffs, though the recordings were only aired after the sieges were over. During a two-minute telephone call at 10 a.m. to the premises where the Kouachi brothers were holed up, Kouachi claimed to be financed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen. At around 3 p.m., Coulibaly phoned the BFM-TV offices to announced that he was sent by the Islamic State and had received instructions from the Caliphate. He also said that he had been in contact with the Kouachi brothers to coordinate their actions.
4.DOUBLE STRIKE At approximately 5pm local time, simultaneous assaults were launched on the two sites. It is believed that the graphic designer trapped inside the printing firm in Dammartin-en-Goele was able to help the French special forces prepare the assault. When the assault was launched at Dammartin-en-Goele, Cherif and Saïd Kouachi charged out of the building firing at the police and were killed. At the Porte de Vincennes standoff, Amedy Coulibaly was killed when police stormed the building following several explosions.
5. THE TOLL The three hostage takers were killed in the police assaults. At Dammartin-en-Goele, the graphic designer and the printworks owner were unharmed, while four hostages were killed at Porte de Vincennes and four other seriously injured, including police officers.
6. STILL AT LARGE Hayat Boumeddiene, Amedy Coulibaly’s partner, is still on the loose. She has been linked to the shooting of the police officer Thursday morning.
7. PRESIDENTIAL WORDS French President François Hollande addressed the nation just before 8pm local time, expressing his condolences to the families of the victims, praising law enforcement for the operations and calling again on the nation to come together. The French must be “implacable in the face of racism and anti-semitism … These fanatics have nothing to do with Islam.” He ended with a call to unity, vowing that "We will come out even stronger. Long live the Republic. Long live France."
— Élysée (@Elysee) January 9, 2015
8. WHAT'S NEXT Hollande confirmed that he will participate in a march scheduled for Sunday afternoon, only the second time in the history of the French Republic that the head of state has taken to the streets in such a gathering. Other European leaders will be in attendance, including Germany's Angela Merkel, Italy's Matteo Renzi and Britain's David Cameron. But French officials have hinted that new measures must be taken to ensure public safety, though some have cautioned against imposing laws that undermine civil rights and stoke already frayed divisions in society.