Friday, January 9, 2015

World News (Update): Authorities report that Charlie Hebdo terror suspects killed, hostages freed

NEW: Authorities in France are reporting now that two brothers believed to have carried out a massacre at Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper, on Wednesday in Paris, have been killed during a police raid. Three heavily armed gunmen who are radical Islamists killed 12 newspaper editors, cartoonists and security guards outside the building.
News outlets report that a gunman named Amedy Coulibaly believed to be linked to the killing of a French policewoman on Wednesday took multiple hostages at a Kosher supermarket on the eastern end of Paris. News outlets have reported that Coulibaly and four hostages were killed, and four other hostages and three policemen are injured. Coulibaly's wife and accomplice Hayat Boumeddiene is wanted by French police and is considered armed and dangerous.

The two prime suspects, Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, carried out the terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo and were hunted by police in northeastern France. Earlier today, police said suspects had stolen a car and exchanged gunfire with police as they were pursued, according to The New York Times. They are communicating with police, saying they wish to die as martyrs.

 Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi

Charlie Hebdo is known for distasteful cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and the publication was targeted in past terror attacks. Still, the editors and cartoonists remained undaunted, and unfortunately, perished in the name of free speech. Freedom of speech is important in French democracy, and the conflict with Islamic extremists has evolved into a war it seems.

Caption reads, "Love is stronger than hate."

France President Francois Hollande, after meeting local officials, said "France is going through a trying time," calling the attack the "worst of the past 50 years." The Kouachi brothers were arrested for previous involvement in planned terror attacks and had been recruiting French citizens to fight in Iraq, The Times said. The brothers trained with Al Qaeda in Yemen.
Site of hostage taking at Kosher grocery in eastern Paris

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of French people (and journalists and cartoonists worldwide) have united in solidarity and support for Charlie Hebdo staffers, using #JeSuisCharlie (I am Charlie) on social media. Protests and rallies are planned throughout the weekend. Stay tuned to for updates.

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