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Paris Terror Attack
RECAP: Police manhunt moves to rural France
Police continue to search villages in Picardy but have failed to find the two gunmen: Photo: AFP

RECAP: Police manhunt moves to rural France

The Local · 9 Jan 2015, 11:14

Published: 08 Jan 2015 23:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Jan 2015 11:14 GMT+01:00

Latest:

  • Paris rocked by second shooting on Thursday morning
  • Trainee policewoman killed in second shooting
  • Two brothers being hunted following murder of 12 people at Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris
  • Men named as Saïd and Chérif Kouachi
  • Several arrested as police hunt for pair
  • Third man hands himself to police after seeing his name circulating
  • Security heightened in Paris
  • World leaders strongly condemn the terror attack
  • Thousands rally across the world in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo

23:00 -  We are going to close this live blog for the evening unless there are any major developments.

Thanks for reading. We'll be back in the morning with more news on the manhunt and the fallout from the two shootings in Paris.

22:55 - Rural residents scared as police comb the countryside

As midnight approaches in France, residents in the north of the country have been gripped with fear as the two brothers are thought to be hiding in the area. 
 
The AFP news agency reported from Corcy that police have been combing the area searching for the fugitives, even storming the occasional home as frightened  locals look on. 
 
Michel, a 55-year-old bus driver, said he was scared about wealth of good hiding spots nearby. 
 
"I've gone round the house, closed the shutters, but there are loads of caves nearby and places where they grow mushrooms," he said.
 
Another local was frightened that the police are "dressed like Robocops", but residents have been left to move around freely. 
 
"What if we came face-to-face with them?" she asked. "What do we do?"  The manhunt continues.
 

22:40 - French provocateur puts halt on promotion of new "Islamophobic" novel

Controversial author Michel Houellebecq will "suspend the promotion" of his new "Islamophobic" novel, his publisher has announced. 
 
The book, Soumission (Submission), was released on Wednesday and is set in a future France under Islamic rule. The book has already been criticized for filling the sails of the far right. 
 
 
 

22:16 - Footage of manhunt released

The Guardian newspaper has released footage of the increased police efforts earlier today as the manhunt stretched into the Longpont, north eastern France. See it below. 

The paper is currently streaming a live debate, in which the editor said his paper has pledged £100,000 "to sustain Charlie Hebdo".

21:36 - Copies of Charlie Hebdo sell for thousands online

This week's edition of Charlie Hebdo has been attracting some serious attention in the online auctions, reported the AFP news agency. The magazine's 60,000 copies sold out nearly instantly following the attack, and they have been attracting bids online of more than 70,000 euros ($82,400).
 
 
Next week's copy is also likely to be hot property - with the magazine's lawyer telling the Les Echos newspaper that staff plan to print 1 million copies.
 
The move will be sponsored in part by the Digital Press Fund, which is backed by Google, and which has earmarked €250,000 to donate for the printing costs.
 
 

 

21:17 - Four French Imam's release joint statement with the Vatican

Four French imams visiting the Vatican on Thursday met with the state's "minister" for interreligious dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, to sign a
joint declaration.

"Without liberty of expression, the world is in danger," it said.

"It is imperative to oppose hate and every form of violence which destroys human life, violates people's dignity, (and) radically threatens the fundamental good of peaceful coexistence beyond the differences of nationality, religion and culture," it added.

Imams Tareq Oubrou, Azzedine Gaci, Mohammed Moussaoui and Djelloul Seddiki signed the declaration.

21:00 - Explosion in a vehicle in Villejuif to the south of Paris

This tweet pic shows a vehicle that exploded in the Villejuif area to the south of Paris this evening.

 

20:53 Disunited: The National Front has "barred" from unity rally:

Here's our piece on the row that has broken out over the fact the Marine Le Pen and co. have not been invited to the national unity rally in Paris on Sunday.

French far-right 'barred' from national unity rally

20:26 - UK tells citizens to take "extra care" in France after attacks

The statement below has been taken from the UK's Foreign Office website: 

"On 7 January, gunmen attacked the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices in the east of Paris. Reports indicate 12 people were killed in the attack. On 8 January, a gunman shot and injured individuals in Montrouge, a town to the south west of Paris. You should take extra care at this time and follow the security advice issued by the French authorities.

20:16 - It appears to have all gone quiet out there

For the moment, the manhunt for the two gunmen that has been taking place in the region to the north east of Paris, appears to have scaled back.

Special anti-terror units who were searching villages in the Picardy region, appear to have moved off, leaving journalists out in the cold alone.

Including the Guardian's Kim Willsher, who tweeted this from  the village of Longpont:

 

 

20:11 - Charlie Hebdo shootings are not first attack against media in Paris

AFP have put together this graphic to show previous attacks on press and media outlets in the French capital.

 

 

20:07 - Charlie Hebdo gunmen were "heros" according to Islamist extremists from IS

This report came in earlier from AFP:

The Islamic State group's radio praised as "heroes" Thursday the perpetrators of a deadly attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

"Jihadist heroes have killed 12 journalists who worked for the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and wounded more than 10 others, to avenge the Prophet (Mohammed)," said a statement read on Al-Bayan radio.

In fact, only eight journalists died in the Wednesday assault on the satirical weekly's Paris headquarters. Of the four others killed, two were policemen.

In its statement Al-Bayan accused Charlie Hebdo of having "insulted" the prophet for many year, adding that "among those killed were cartoonists who have been mocking Islam and its great figures."

20:00 - Eiffel Tower turns out the lights

France's famous Iron lady has turned out the lights in homage to the victims of the terrorist shootings.

19:52 - Another cartoon has been sent in to us from Victor Sanjinez, from Peru

19:12 - More from Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve

 

He said the nine people remain in custody in connection with the investigation into the terror raids. Various raids have been carried out and numerous properties have been searched. Around 90 witnesses have given statements to police. 

19:05 - Demonstrators fill Place de la Republique for second night running 

Reporter Priscillia Charles was there for The Local.

Hundreds of people gathered at Republic square tonight once again. Chants of "We are Charlie!" could be heard just like last night.

The crowd sang a spontaneous Marseillaise with many participants holding signs showing "Je suis Charlie"

One demonstrator Valentina said: "I came here yesterday and I think we should come here every day if necessary.

It's a shock. We wonder if it's not a nightmare. We are all be journalists and citizens."

Laurent, who works in the hotel trade: said: "I came here to show that people are capable of rallying without any political system." 

18:56 - Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneue has been giving a press conference:

Cazeneuve has bee running through the events since the beginning and talking about the security situation in the country as well as the ongoing manhunt for the gunmen.

"Our country is experiencing a moment of extreme gravity," Cazeneuve said.

The minister said authorities have not been able to establish a link between the two shootings.

He also said that " France will not tolerate any attack against French people on the grounds of their religion or origin". 

Cazeneuve also stressed that French Muslim leaders have condemned the attack."

 

 

18:37 - Gerard Depardieu tweets his support for victims

 

18:33 - 88,000 members of the forces of order are on duty in France today

According to the interior ministry security personnel including 50,000 police officers, 32,000 gendarmes and 1,150 soldiers have been mobilized across the country.

18:26 - More on Le Pen's 'exclusion'

The National Front have tweeted out their disgust about not being invited to the "Republican march of unity" on Sunday in Paris.

"The first party of France excluded from the demonstration. It's a moral fault," the party said.

 

Former PM François Fillon is against the exclusion however. Fillon, a member of the conservative UMP said: 

"Our best response is the total unity of the country. We can't have any dissenting voices," Fillon tweeted.

18:09 - An update on the hunt for Thursday's gunman

While anti-terror police hunt for the Charlie Hebdo shooters, there is also a manhunt underway for a man whop killed a policewoman to the south of Paris on THursday morning.

Here's the latest from AFP:

Security forces detained a man soon after the Montrouge shooting but he was not the shooter, police said. They then raided a hotel room nearby but that was unsuccessful.
 
"We lost track of the alleged attacker in the La Defense area (business district next to Paris)," a police source said.
 
The anti-terrorist section of the Paris prosecutor's office is now handling the probe into the shooting "in view of the current context" following the Charlie Hebdo killing, and also due to the heavy weaponry carried by the attacker and the "deliberate nature of an act targeting security forces."
 
But prosecutors stressed no link had been made between the two incidents.
 
18:00 - An American cartoonist shows solidarity with Charlie Hebdo

This cartoon was sent to us from Tom Stiglich:

He said: "I'm a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist with Creators Syndicate. I feel for our friends in France. Here's a cartoon that I did showing American cartoonists' support for the fallen journalists from Charlie Hebdo."

 

17:50 - National Unity without the National Front?

A huge row has broken out over whether the National Front should be allowed to join the march for national unity on Sunday.

Marine Le Pen, who leads the far right party claims she has been excluded:

Le Pen is furious after her party has been “excluded” from the march for national unity on Sunday.

“There’s isn’t a national union,” Le Pen exclaimed. The march will see politicians from across the political spectrum come together in the name of unity. Le Pen and co don’t appear to have been invited, however that doesn’t stop them from turning up.

Is that the right move?

17:52  - The story so far in pictures

Here we've put together a timeline from the moment of the first attack up to the latest incidents as France hunts for three gunmen.

IN PICTURES: A timeline of the Paris terror attacks

 

17:30 - Eiffel Tower to turn lights off in honour of victims

France's iconic Eiffel Tower is to go dark late Thursday in a sombre tribute to the 12 people killed in the attack on the Paris satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo

The lights normally illuminating the 324-metre (1,063-foot) tall monument at night will go out at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT), according to the office of Paris
Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

The extinction of the lights will happen as a demonstration expected to gather thousands will be in full swing on the other side of the city, in Republique square for the second night running.

Other events will be held in the French capital over coming days to mark the outrage over Wednesday's attack on Charlie Hebdo, and to assert the right to freedom of expression -- a value France has long cherished and sought to
protect.

"Our city has been a refuge for writers, philosophers, journalists who were threatened for their ideas," Hidalgo told Liberation newspaper. "There is no place in Paris for extremist ideas of any sort."

The Eiffel Tower is one of France's top tourist attractions and the pre-eminent monument in the City of Light.

17:14 Le Pen picks up Twitter followers

National Front leader Marine Le Pen has picked up 18,000 new fans on Facebook in the last 24 hours, L'Express says. A lot of people have been outraged by her call for a referendum on the death penalty, but it's clearly not falling on deaf ears. 

 

17:05 The European Commission will submit new counter-terrorism proposals after the Paris attacks, Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said on Thursday. AFP reports: 

"I know from experience that one should not react on the moment to such events given the risk of doing either too much or too little," Juncker told a press conference in the Latvian capital Riga, which has assumed the rotating EU presidency.

Juncker added that the commission, the EU executive arm, "plans to submit new anti-terror proposals in the coming weeks".


17:00 Britain has boosted ports security after the Paris attacks. More from AFP: 

Britain has stepped up security at ports serving France following the Islamist massacre in Paris, officials said on Thursday, as the MI5 intelligence agency offered French counterparts its "full
support".
 
In rare public comments, MI5 Director General Andrew Parker said the attack was a "terrible reminder" of the threat facing Western nations.

He confirmed the national spy agency was offering its French colleagues their "full support as they respond".

"It is too early for us to come to judgments about the precise details or origin of the attack but it is a terrible reminder of the intentions of those who wish us harm," Parker said.

Home Secretary Theresa May, the interior minister, held a meeting of the COBRA crisis committee to consider Britain's response to the attacks and its own preparedness for a similar assault.

She said the government had offered France "every assistance necessary".

Searches have been stepped up on cars and trucks crossing the English Channel to British ports, while armed patrols have increased at the Eurostar terminal at London's St Pancras station.

There was also a more visible security operation at British border controls in France, such as at the Calais sea port and the Gare du Nord railway terminal in Paris.

The British flag was flown at half-mast over Prime Minister David Cameron's Downing Street office on Thursday.

Cameron said: "We stand united with the French people following the horrific killings in Paris."

16:56 Police in Norfolk in the UK show their solidarity with the victims. 

 

 

16:50 A L'Express reader sent in this well-phrased cartoon: "I can't stand to see anyone take away my freedom of oppression". 

16:43 More from AFP on the alert level:

France on Thursday extended the highest security alert level already in place in greater Paris to the northern Picardy region where police have zoned in on two suspects in the magazine massacre.

"The prime minister has decided to extend the attack alert level to Picardy," Prime Minister Manuel Valls' office said, after two brothers sought for the attack against the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were spotted in the region, resulting in a massive deployment of security forces.

16:36 The Prime Minister's office has announced that highest alert level, "attack alert", has been extended to the Picardy region where anti-terrorism units are currently carrying out searches for the Charlie Hebdo murder suspects. 

16:34 Le Parisien reports: 15h40. Several sites searched between Aisne and Oise [in the Picardy region]. According to our sources, troops from the GIGN and the RAID are searching around half a dozen sites at the moment around Villers-Cotterêts (in Aisne) and in Crépy-en-Valois (Oise) which could be a stopping-off point for the two suspects on the run. In the morning, the individuals were located nearby on the RN2. They apparently robbed a petrol station at around 10:30am.

16:10 - Here's a round-up of some of the political action from France 

François Hollande, French president:

In a tweet, the French president has said: "Freedom will always be stronger than barbarism. Our best weapon is our unity." 
 
Marine Le Pen, Far-right party (Front National) leader:
 
"France has to be at war against Islamist fundamentalists. They are at war against France."
 
Nicolas Sarkozy, former French president:
 
The former French president met François Hollande at the Elysée palace today to discuss the situation. He said: "Civilized men have to be united to counter barbarism. Security that is 100% effective does not exist but we can work to improve our presence for the sake of French people's safety."
 
Alain Juppé, Bordeaux mayor:
 
The Bordeaux mayor called for an upholding of national unity, "for as long as possible." He also asked "the muslim community representatives to speak up and say that Islam does not mean the ideology of murder."
"We will resist."
 
Manuel Valls, Prime Minister:
 
"National unity it's also about values. And the deeply Republican value of tolerance."
 
A meeting will be held at the French National Assembly and the Senate tomorrow and will gather political leaders of all persuasions: former president Nicolas Sarkozy, Far-Right leader Marine Le Pen (Frint National), Far-Left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Parti de Gauche), MoDem leader François Bayrou as well as Nicolas Dupont-Aignan from Debout la France.
 
François Hollande is also said to be meeting former French presidents Jacques Chirac and Valérie Giscard d'Estaing.

16:00 - More images coming on over Twitter from police operation

This image was posted showing officers in Corcy, a town in the same area where the suspects have been spotted and there's a major police operation under way, with helicopters and elite commando forces.

 

15:34 - Police out in force around the perimeter of Paris.

This was the scene at Porte de la Villette, on the north eastern edge of Paris on Thursday, where armed police were patrolling, with automatic weapons. 

15:25 - Did gunmen have link extremist IS group?

This article from AFP suggests there may have been a link through a Tunisian who was part of the same "network" in Paris as the chief suspect Cherif Kouachi.

A French-Tunisian jihadist who assassinated two Tunisian politicians in 2013 provides a possible link between Charlie Hebdo suspect Cherif Kouachi and the Islamic State group based in Iraq and Syria, a researcher told AFP on Thursday.

Boubaker al-Hakim is a member of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group who last month claimed responsibility for assassinating two secular politicians, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, in Tunisia in 2013.

He was previously part of the "Butte-Chaumont network" in Paris -- alongside Kouachi -- that helped send fighters to join Al Qaeda in Iraq in the mid-2000s.

Hakim "represents the link between the Kouachi brothers and (IS)," said researcher Jean-Pierre Filiu, a leading expert on radical Islam at Paris's Sciences Po university.

"It is impossible that an operation on the scale of the one that led to the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was not sponsored by Daesh," he claimed, using an alternative name for IS.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack, "but it is certain that (IS) is closely following it and waiting to see how it ends," said Filiu.

"I am sure that the video claiming responsibility is already prepared."

"Hakim, and no doubt Kouachi, rejoined Al Qaeda's Iraqi networks after they were released from prison and accompanied them in their transformation into Daesh," said Filiu.

"The combat experience they acquired was useful in the cold-blooded assassinations they have carried out since."

15:15 - More images via Twitter as police move into Villers-Cotterets and Crepy-en-Valois to the north of Paris

Police seem to be concentrating their forces on two towns Crepy-en-Valois and Villers-Cotterets, to the north eadt of Paris, near where the two suspects were spotted at a garage. No confirmed reports yet, that the police have actually tracked down the two suspects and no indication they know exactly where they are.

 

 

 

 

15:03 - Suspect's former lawyer in shock

The former lawyer of shootingsuspect Cherif Kouachi has been speaking to the media this morning.

Vincent Ollivier had this to say:

"When he was younger he had no professional or personal projects in his life...After being jailed in 2008 he came out of prison less juvenile, but I wouldn't say a religious extremist. During his trial he never evoked any extremist ideals.

"It's for me to make the connection between the young man, who was almost a child, that I knew and the professional gunman that we say yesterday. The Cherif Kouachi that I knew does not correspond with the person that carried out the killings yesterday.

"My only advice to him is to turn himself in to French authorities."

15:00 - More on the Molotov cocktails found in the gunmen's car

This is latest info from AFP on what the police found in the car that was abandoned yesterday in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.

French investigators found a dozen Molotov cocktails and two jihadist flags in the getaway car used in the massacre at a Paris magazine, a source close to the case told AFP Thursday.

"This shows their Islamist radicalisation and that they had possibly planned other acts with the petrol bombs," the source said. The items were found in the abandoned black Citroen used by the attackers to speed away from
the offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly after they gunned down 12 people.

14:55 - Police say treating second shooting as terrorist attack

Police have confirmed to AFP that they are treating the shooting in Montrouge to the south of Paris this morning as a terrorist act. A policewoman was killed when a man opened fire in the street just after 8am. The gunman is still at large.

14:46 - Meanwhile in the south of Paris...

Our reporter Priscillia Charles has spoken to some people who were close to the scene of this morning shooting in Montrouge, which left one police woman dead.

A concierge named Dina Gaspar told her: "My son came running in and said there's something happening outside. I went out and saw the young police woman lying on the ground with people around her, clearly trying to save her life.

"I feel really unsafe, because it seems you can get weapons pretty much anywhere. This neighbourhood is normally calm. There's a mixture of Jews and Arabs living here. It shouldn't happen here."

14:44 - 'Jihadist flags and Molotov cocktails' found in abandoned car

Various reports coming through now, that have not been confirmed by an any official source, claim that jihadist flags and Molotov cocktails were found in the black Citroen car that was abandoned by the gunmen on Rue de Meaux, near the Buttes Chaumont yesterday. 

14:40  - Puma helicopters hover above Crepy-en-Valois

Police are understandably taking no chances, given that there are two heavily armed men on the loose. Two Puma helicopters are hovering above the town of Crepy-en-Valois, were according to unconfirmed reports, the two suspects may be hiding out.

 

 

14:26  - BREAKING - Police surround house in Crepy-en-Valois, reports say

The police operation to track down the suspects appears to be focussed on a house in the town of Crepy-en-VAlois, to the north east of Paris, near where the suspects were spotted by a garage owner. Local officials appear to have confirmed an operation is underway in the town. There's no confirmation that the suspects are in the house or that the police are certain they are even in the area.

 

The police operation to track down the suspects appears to be focussed on a house in the town of Crepy-en-VAlois, to the north east of Paris, near where the suspects were spotted by a garage owner. Local officials appear to have confirmed an operation is underway in the town.

 

 

14:11 - BREAKING: French special forces deploy in zone to the east of Paris where attack suspects spotted

French special operations forces deployed on Thursday in a northern town where two brothers suspected of having gunned down 12 people in an Islamist attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo are
believed to be located, a police source said.

RAID, the anti-terrorist unit of the French police force, and the GIGN, a paramilitary special operations unit, deployed in Villers-Cotterets in the northern Aisne region "where a car was abandoned after being used by the two
suspects, who were identified by a witness," the source told AFP.

14:05 - One million copies of Charlie Hebdo to be printed

According to Le Monde newspaper, one million copies of Charlie Hebdo magazine will be printed next week. 

The French satirical newspaper whose staff was decimated in an Islamist attack will publish as scheduled next week, one of its surviving staff members told AFP on Thursday.

Charlie Hebdo will publish next Wednesday to defiantly show that "stupidity will not win," said columnist Patrick Pelloux, who is also an emergency room doctor.

He added that the remaining staff held a meeting on Thursday to discuss its future.

"It's very hard. We are all suffering, with grief, with fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win," said Pelloux.

13:59 - Suspect Cherif Kouachi "preferred pretty girls to the mosque"

Cherif Kouachi's image has been on French TV before.

France 3 TV did a report with the suspected gunmen back in 2005 about his life and his hopes.

In the program the journalist describes Kouachi as “a fan of rap, more ready to enjoy life and more likely to enjoy pretty girls than go to the mosque”.

But not long after the film was made Kouachi was radicalised as part of the “filiere (network) des Buttes Chaumont” and was soon convicted for helping jihadists leave for Iraq.

13:44 - March of French politicians put back until Sunday

A march that will see French politicians from across the political spectrum take to the streets in the name of "national unity" has been postponed from Saturday to Sunday.

13:39 - Focus on Muslims in France

The role of Muslims in France has long been a sensitive subject in the country and has only increased in recent years with the threat of attacks from jihadists as well as the rise of the anti-immigration National Front.

The table below shows how the French feel towards Muslims compared to other nations.

 

13:28 - Tensions high in Paris after numerous false alerts

A sign of the tension and fear that has gripped Paris today can be seen in the number of rumours and false alarms that have arisen, especially on social media.

Police have been forced to deny that the Champs Elysée has been blocked off and dismiss rumours that there was gunman on the lose in La Defense business district.

There was also a false alarm on the city's train network when a suspect package was spotted at Saint Michel station.

The RER B line was briefly suspended between Châtelet and Luxembourg. 

Paris police are out in huge numbers today as are soldiers from the armed forces. Armed police have been stationed at all the gates to the city in case the suspects in either of the two shootings, attempt to enter or exit the capital.

 

13:26 - Road warning signs changed to honour victims

 

13:22 - Police at the petrol station where the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting were spotted earlier 

 

 

13:08 - Asterix illustrator Uderzo draws his own homage to Charlie Hebdo

 

12:59 - "Paris killings confirm fears of jihadist threat in the west"

This is from AFP on how the attacks in Paris yesterday confirmed the fears of both authorities and the public across Europe.

The deadly attack on France's Charlie Hebdo magazine has confirmed the West's worst fears that militants will act on jihadist threats to target Western countries fighting Islamic extremism.

The brazen targeting of a media outlet that sparked widespread Muslim outrage with cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed is also a powerful propaganda weapon and potential recruiting tool, analysts say.

"This attack was designed to cause shock in the international community," said Lina Khatib, director of the Carnegie Middle East Centre think-tank.

"The 'spectacular' manner in which it was executed is intended to show the influence of jihadist movements in Europe," she said.

Khatib said the reasons for the attack likely went beyond the magazine's controversial publications.

France is a leading partner in the US-led coalition fighting IS, participating in air strikes against the group in Iraq.

It has also led operations against jihadist groups in Africa, making it a key target of extremist ire.

The attack's goal was to "send a message to states, particularly those who are part of the international coalition fighting groups like IS, that they are now vulnerable," Khatib said.

"The fact that the attackers chose a central area in Paris is very symbolic... the invoking of vengeance for the prophet is just an excuse," she added.

12:54 - Marine Le Pen talks of death penalty

National Front leader Marine Le Pen says she wants to offer the French people a referendum over the death penalty.

 

Her tweet was retweeted around 2,000 times, but it also provoked a reaction.

"It's shameful to use the tragedy and emotion of the French  people to defend your nauseating political ideas!," said one respondent.

12:44 - Homage at Notre Dame today

Our reporter Priscillia Charles has just sent this from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris where people gathered this afternoon to pay their respects to the victims.

The mourners stood quietly in the pouring rain, many holding pens in the air, in a symbolic act to remember the fallen journalists and cartoonists.

People were in shock, but they also expressed their views that this act can not beat freedom of speech or divide France.

Charity worker Violaine Charntrel, told The Local: "What happened is attempt to kill freedom of speech. We have to show are not afraid. But we must also not overreact in terms of imposing too strict security measures.

"We just need to reassure the public and promote non violent values.

One Brazilian tourist who was at Notre Dame said: "We have to show the world we are not afraid of terrorists".

12:32 - The gates of Paris in lockdown

The main roads into central Paris were locked down on Thursday as heavily armed police patrolled the entrances and exits of the city. TV images show officers armed with automatic weapons standing guard. Paris has an extra 2,000 police officers on duty today.

12:29 - "I am a cartoonist"

This image shows a mural pained n honour of Stephane Charbonnier, the editor of Charlie Hebdo who was killed yesterday.

 

12:24 - What we know of the two Charlie Hebdo suspects

Here's also a link to an AFP article on the two suspects behind the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, that left 12 dead.

They've been named as the Kouachi brothers, Cherif and Said:

"Cherif, who was born on November 28th, 1982 in Paris not far from where the attack took place, had already been jailed in 2008 for his role in sending fighters to Iraq.

"Sometimes going by the name Abu Issen, he was part of the "Buttes-Chaumont network" led by Farid Benyettou, that helped send would-be jihadists to join Al Qaeda in Iraq during the US-led invasion in the mid-2000s.

"He was arrested just before he was due to fly to Syria and on to Iraq -- and was later sentenced to three years in prison, including an 18-month suspended sentence."

12:19 - Muslim targets attacked in aftermath of shooting

Here's a link to our report on the fact that several Muslim targets were attacked on Wednesday night after the Paris shootings.

"Three blank grenades were thrown at a mosque shortly after midnight in the city of Le Mans, west of Paris. A bullet hole was also found in a window of the mosque.

"In the Port-la-Nouvelle district near Narbonne in southern France, several shots were fired in the direction of a Muslim prayer hall shortly after evening prayers. The hall was empty, the local prosecutor said.

"An explosion at a kebab shop near a mosque in the eastern French town of Villefranche-sur-Saone on Thursday morning also left no casualties. Local prosecutors have described it as a "criminal act".

12:13 - More on the Charlie Hebdo suspects 'being located'

This is a picture of the petrol station near the Villers-Cotterêts on the RN2 road to the east of Paris (see map below), where a member of staff reportedly recognised the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

This is from Le Parisien newspaper: The manager of the gas station "formally recognized the two men suspected of involvement in the bombing of Charlie Hebdo," said a source close to the matter. "Both men were hooded, with exposed Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers," confirmed another source.

There's been no official confirmation about this sighting or whether the police have actually tracked down the gunmen. It's worth noting there were similar reports yesterday evening that proved to be be untrue.

 

12:00 - France falls silent to pay respects to victims of terror attack

A minute's silence was held across France at midday in homage to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Mourners gathered in cities across the country, where they sang the French national anthem. Hundreds turned up at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to pay their respects.

11:56 - Charlie Hebdo will be published next week

Despite yesterday's shooting which left several of the magazine's cartoonists dead, Charlie Hebdo will be published next week, an editorialist has told AFP.

11:47 - In summary

There's two huge police operations under way in France today. One in the south of Paris, at Porte de Chatillon, Montrouge after a gunman opened fire on police this morning at 8.20am, killing a female officer. Armed police are on the scene at Avenue Pierre Brossolette. The gunman is still on  the run and may still be in the area, hence the huge police presence.

As we mentioned below, there are various reports that the two suspects behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre yesterday have been tracked down to the town of Vauciennes, to the east of Paris. These are unconfirmed. 

This is from AFP: "The manager of a petrol station near Villers-Cotteret in the northern Aisne region "recognised the two men suspected of having participated in the attack against Charlie Hebdo", the source said.

 

11:37 - More details on reported sighting of Charlie Hebdo suspects

According to le Parisien, the men seen in northern France matched the descriptions of the two suspects wanted for yesterday’s killings. They were driving a white Renault Clio, wearing raincoats and masks, heading towards Paris. Large firearms were seen on the back seat of the car, according to the anonymous report.
 
Le Parisien is reporting that roads are closed in the area around Vauciennes, close to the area in which the men were seen.
 
We’ll look for corroboration of this report and add details as we get them.
 
This has just come in from AFP too: 
 
"Two brothers suspected of having gunned down 12 people in an Islamist attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were spotted Thursday morning and are armed, sources close to the manhunt said."
 
"The manager of a petrol station near Villers-Cotteret in the northern Aisne region "recognised the two men suspected of having participated in the attack against Charlie Hebdo", the source said.
 
 
11:28 - Charlie Hebdo murders: two armed suspects 'located in northern France'

Reports are coming in that two armed suspects have been located in northern France. According to le Parisien, citing "sources", the men are in the region of Villers-Cotteret in the Aisne region.

11:16 - Thursday's gunman may still be in the area

There's speculation among analysts in the French media that the gunman who shot and killed a policewoman this morning at Montrouge, to the south of Paris, may still be in the area. Around 20 armed police are lined up on the streets outside an apartment block close to the scene of the shooting.

 

 

11:04 - Huge numbers of armed police on the scene in Montrouge

Huge numbers of heavily armed police are on the scene of Thursday's shooting at the Porte de Chatillon in Montrouge. Police have identified the car used by the gunman, who is still on the run. A cordon is beng set up around the scene, with the public and members of the media being pushed back.

It appears explosives experts are on the scene to examine the suspect's car.

10:59 - Police confirm death of policewoman after Thursday morning's shooting

As you can see from the image below, armed police are on the scene at Montrouge now, where man opened fire on police earlier this morning.

The shooter is still at large, France's interior minister has confirmed.

 

 

10:47 - Policewoman injured in Thursday's shooting has died, reports say

We are hearing from BFM TV that the policewoman critically injured in a shooting to the south of Paris this morning has died. There has been no official confirmation for this however.

10:42 - Sarkozy talks of need for national unity

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has emerged from meetings with President François Hollande, saying the two men want “to show national unity in the face of an attack carried out by determined fanatics against our civilisation and the ideas we hold dear.”
 
“I am overwhelmed by the dignity and resolve of my compatriots. We must show a united front,” he said.
 
10:19 Update on kebab shop explosion

The explosion took place in Villefranche-sur-Saone, officials said, but left no casualties.

"It is a criminal act," a local official told AFP, adding that a police investigation has been opened. Again, no suggestion of a link to the Charlie Hebdo attack

10:15 Explosion at kebab shop in eastern France

Reports are coming in of an explosion at a kebab shop, said to be situated "near a mosque" in eastern France. Those are all the details we have right now, so it is far too early to talk of any connection to the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

10:12 - Policewoman fighting for her life after new shooting

Here's the latest on the new shooing south of Paris, from AFP:

A policewoman and a city employee were seriously hurt on Thursday after a man opened fire with an automatic rifle outside Paris, police said, but no link has yet been established with the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

The gunman is still on the run, said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve – who rushed to the scene at Montrouge just south of city – contradicting information given earlier by a source close to the case, who said the suspect had been detained.

Police initially said the two victims were critical, but Cazeneuve said just the policewoman was fighting for her life.

(This report was corrected at 10:29. The location was originally incorrectly stated)

09:55 - Here's that pic of Sarkozy arriving at the Elysée

 

 

 

09:49 - Cazeneuve arrives at scene of second shooting

The interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has been speaking to reporters at the scene of the second shooting to the south of Paris.

He basically warned the public to be prudent as the manhunt goes on.

 

 

09:43 - One suspect already handed himself in

 

Just a reminder that one of three men hunted by police handed himself overnight.

 

Here's what AFP sent out: 

 

An 18-year-old implicated alongside two brothers in the bloody attack against a satirical weekly in Paris has surrendered to police, according to a source close to the case.

"Hamyd Mourad handed himself in to police... on Wednesday at 11:00 pm (2200 GMT) after seeing his name circulating on social media," the source told AFP.

"He has been arrested and taken into custody," another source confirmed.

Police are still hunting the two shooters, believed to be the two Kouachi brothers Cherif and Said.

 

09:31 - Sarkozy meets Hollande at the Elysée

 

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy has just arrive at the Elysée to meet the current president François Hollande. As leader of the main opposition party Sarkozy has been called to ensure there is a united front from France's politicians in the reaction to terrorist attack. There will also be a march in Paris on Saturday which will see politicians and dignitaries from all parties. 

 

09:28 - Thousands of extra police and soldiers on duty today

The French government has placed the country on the highest state of terror alert after an attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo left 12 dead, including two police.

Extra security forces were drafted in to secure mosques, synagogues, department stores, shopping centres, train stations and airports, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said. 

Paris announced that an extra 650 soldiers and 2,000 more police officers will patrol the streets of the capital on Thursday.

09:26 - Here's the scene in Montrouge this morning after man opens fire on police

 

 

09:18 - 53-year-old man arrested over second shooting

 

We are hearing more of the shooting in Montrouge, just outside Paris. A 52-year-old man has been arrested after opening fire on police. A policewoman has been seriously injured as well as a workman (Agend de la voirie). He is said to be in a critical condition.

 

The man arrested was had a detailed criminal record.

 

Analysts are saying this could be the kind of act that French authorities fear the most. It may not be linked to yesterday's shooting, but it may have been inspired by it. Too early to say for sure however.

 

 

09:06 - Interior Minister on his way to scene of second shooting

 

France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is on his way to the Porte de Montrouge in the south of Paris, where a man wearing a bullet proof vest opened fire on police this morning. We are hearing, the man, was carrying a kalashnikov and walked up behind police, who were dealing with a traffic accident and opened fire. Two officers are injured. 

 

It's believed  the suspect was later arrested, although this has not been confirmed.

 

09:00 - More on the shooting to the south of Paris

 

We are hearing that one the injured police officers is having emergency life saving treatment after the shooting. It appears they tried to arrest a man who was wearing a bullet proof vest. We are watching images from BFM TV showing an ambulance taking the two men to hospital.

 

The suspect has been arrested .He wa reportedly carrying two guns.

 

Obviously these are early reports and things can change. No link as of yet to Charlie Hebdo attack, but even if there's no link, there's a chance it may be an act inspired by what happened yesterday. 

 

 

08:50 - BREAKING NEWS - Shooting to the south of Paris

 

Reports on Thursday say two police officers have been injured in a shooting in the town of Montrouge, just to the south of Paris. (SEE MAP) No confirmation yet, whether or not the shooting is linked to the Charlie Hebdo attack.

 

 

08:44 - Wanted gunman known to French police

 

One of the brothers being hunted by polcie over the Charlie Hebdo murders is Cherif Kouachi, aged 32. He was known to police in France after spending time in prison.

Here's some background from the site Heavy.com

"The Associated Press reported in 2008 that Cherif Kouachi had been sentenced to three years in prison in Paris for helping to funnel prospective jihadi fighters from France to Iraq. He served 18 months, with the remainder of his sentence was suspended. In that case, Cherif was named as a member of the 19th arrondissement network, named for the mainly North African neighborhood where they were based."

"The New York Times first reported on Cherif in 2005. It was reported that he had become inspired to fight in jihad due to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses. Prior to the emergence of those abuses, the Liberation newspaper reported, Cherif was not a devout muslim. He had girlfriends, smoked and drank alcohol."

 

08:37 - French PM tries to reassure public

 

French MP Manuel Valls has been giving interviews this morning, in which he has tried to reassure the public that authorities were doing everything they can to track down the two men.

 

"The police and the justice system have dismantled many terror groups, and thwarted several bombing projects. This is proof that we are acting," Valls said. "There are hundreds of people who are being followed, dozens of people were arrested and dozens of people have been put in prison

 

"This shows the difficulty our services face: the sheer number of individuals who pose a danger.

 

"These individuals were certainly followed but there is never zero risk. It's terrible to say because there are victims. It's a terrible attack and we are all affected, upset."

 

 

08:20 - Seven men and women currently in custody after police raids

 

Seven people have been detained in the hunt for brothers suspected of gunning down 12 people in an Islamist assault on a satirical weekly, a judicial source said Thursday.

 

Confirming earlier comments by Prime Minister Manuel Valls, the source, who refused to be named, said men and women close to the two brothers were currently being questioned by police, without saying where they had been detained.

 

 

 

08:10 - Police make several arrests in hunt for suspects

France's prime minister said Thursday several people had been detained in the hunt for two brothers suspected of gunning down 12 people in an Islamist assault on a satirical weekly that shocked the country.

"Several were held overnight," Manuel Valls told RTL radio, adding the two suspects -- who have not yet been found -- were known to intelligence services and were "no doubt" being followed before Wednesday's attack.

 

08:00 - Police release pic of two brothers wanted for terror attack

 

French police on Thursday published photos of two brothers wanted  (SEE PHOTO) as suspects over a bloody massacre at a magazine in Paris as they launched an appeal to the public for information.

 

Paris police said arrest warrants had been issued for Cherif Kouachi, 32 and his 34-year-old brother Said who were "likely armed and dangerous".

 

Thursday 07:45 - Overnight developments - Man hands himself in

Good morning. Here are the main overnight developments in the search for the people who murdered 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris:

The two men alleged by police to be responsible for the attacks have been named by police as Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, aged 34 and 32 and born in Paris. Police say they may be “armed and dangerous”.

A third man, Mourad Hamid, 18, has handed himself into police after seeing his name circulating in social media, according to AFP who cite someone close to the case. It is not clear whether he remains a suspect.

Saïd Kouachi’s identity card was reportedly found in the Citroën C3 found abandoned in north-eastern Paris. A magazine from a Kalashnikov and two sports bags were reportedly also found in the car.

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