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France Faces More Terror, 8 Things To Know

France Faces More Terror, 8 Things To Know

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.

Exclusif France 2 : les images du face-à-face...by francetvinfo

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."

"Nous sortirons encore plus forts. Vive la République et vive la France." @fhollande #DirectPR

— 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.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

What Are Iran's Real Intentions? Watch What The Houthis Do Next

Three commercial ships traveling through the Red Sea were attacked by missiles launched by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels, while the U.S. Navy shot down three drones. Tensions that are linked to the ongoing war in Gaza conflict and that may serve as an indication as to Iran's wider intentions.

photo of Raisi of iran speaking in parliament

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the Iranian parliament in Tehran.

Icana News Agency via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — It’s a parallel war that has so far claimed fewer victims and attracted less public attention than the one in Gaza. Yet it increasingly poses a serious threat of escalating at any time.

This conflict playing out in the international waters of the Red Sea, a strategic maritime route, features the U.S. Navy pitted against Yemen's Houthi rebels. But the stakes go beyond the Yemeni militants — with the latter being supported by Iran, which has a hand in virtually every hotspot in the region.

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Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the Houthis have been making headlines, despite Yemen’s distance from the Gaza front. Starting with missiles launched directed toward southern Israel, which were intercepted by U.S. forces. Then came attacks on ships belonging, or suspected of belonging, to Israeli interests.

On Sunday, no fewer than three commercial ships were targeted by ballistic missiles in the Red Sea. The missiles caused minor damage and no casualties. Meanwhile, three drones were intercepted and destroyed by the U.S. Navy, currently deployed in full force in the region.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for these attacks, stating their intention to block Israeli ships' passage for as long as there was war in Gaza. The ships targeted on Sunday were registered in Panama, but at least one of them was Israeli. In the days before, several other ships were attacked and an Israeli cargo ship carrying cars was seized, and is still being held in the Yemeni port of Hodeida.

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