RECAP: Gunmen 'coordinated' attacks
The Local · 9 Jan 2015, 18:33
Published: 09 Jan 2015 18:33 GMT+01:00
- 'At least two dead' in second hostage-taking (09 Jan 15)
- French salesman 'shook hands' with suspect (09 Jan 15)
- Valls: France at 'war' with terrorism not religion (09 Jan 15)
Key events of the day:
- Wanted Kouachi brothers killed in police raid at printing works in Dammartin
- Accomplice Amedy Coulibaly killed after taking hostages at Jewish grocery store
- At least four hostages reportedly killed at the store
21:27 – We will shortly close this live blog.
For a summary of today’s tragic events, please click here.
21:25 Iranian president denounces terrorism
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has denounced"terrorism" and violence committed in the name of Islam, after the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
"Those who kill and carry out violent and extremist acts unjustly in thename of jihad, religion or Islam provoke Islamophobia whether they wish it or not," said Rouhani.
Imam Ahmad Khatami, the key leader of Friday prayers, reiterated that viewin his weekly sermon.
"Islam does not allow the killing of innocents, be it in Paris, Syria,Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan or Afghanistan," he said, adding he "vigorously condemns" the Paris carnage.
21:05 - Montpellier robbery not linked to twin sieges
Just to clarify that the hostage taking at a jewellers Montpellier tonight is a robbery, authorities say, and nothing to do with sieges in and around Paris today.
21:00 - Photos of Coulibaly's 'weapon holiday' with partner
Le Monde has published a series of photos of the Kosher store gunman, Coulibaly and his partner during a 2010 holiday in Cantal, in central France, showing both of them using a crossbow.
21:00 - Netanyahu wants security at French Jewish sites
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked France Friday to maintain tight security on Jewish sites after a series of incidents that included hostages being killed at a kosher store in Paris.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu asked the president of France to keep up the increased security on Jewish institutions even after things return to normal," Israeli government sources told AFP following a telephone conversation between Netanyahu and Francois Hollande.
"Our hearts are with the families of the victims. Israel offers you any help that France may need," the sources quoted Netanyahu as saying.
20:52 - "They take Charlie, I'll take the police"
Here's a summary from AFP on how the gunman at the Kosher supermarket claims to have coordinated with the Kouachi brothers.
The gunman killed by police on Friday after taking hostages at a Jewish supermarket in Paris told BFMTV station he had "co-ordinated" with the suspected Charlie Hebdo attackers and belonged to the
Islamic State group.
The French channel managed to speak to Amedy Coulibaly, as well as to one of the two Kouachi brothers suspected behind Wednesday's magazine massacre, before all three were killed in police raids ending two hostage dramas.
Cherif Kouachi, the younger sibling, said that a trip he made to Yemen in 2011 was financed by American-Yemeni radical Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen by an American drone strike in September that year.
While holed up with a hostage at a print works in the tiny town of Dammartin-en-Goele northeast of Paris, Kouachi told BFMTV that they were on a mission from the Yemeni branch of Al-Qaeda, AQAP.
Shortly after the Wednesday killing at Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead, the brothers hijacked a car telling the driver: "Say we are from Al Qaeda in Yemen." The pair were killed when police stormed the building in
Dammartin-en-Goele, freeing the hostage.
Meanwhile some 30 kilometres (18 miles) away in eastern Paris, Coulibaly, who took a number of hostages at a Jewish supermarket, contacted BFM to say he had "coordinated" his actions with the Kouachi brothers.
"They took Charlie Hebdo, me the police" he said.
Coulibaly was killed in a police raid to end the siege in Paris, during which four hostages were killed.
He was wanted for the killing Thursday of a young policewoman south of Paris.
20:35 – World leaders to join France’s ‘March of Unity’ on Sunday
In light of this week’s terrorist attacks in France, of which Wednesday’s massacre at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters was the deadliest, several European heads of states have announced their participation.
Aside from the French president himself, here are some of the leaders that will take part in the march:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Finish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb.
20:27 – Kouachi: 'We’re financed by Al Qaeda in Yemen'
When speaking to BFMTV’s reporter over the phone this morning, Cherif Kouachi told him: “we’re financed by al Qaeda Yemen.”
20:23 Kosher store gunman ‘killed hostages before police assault’
BFMTV, who was reportedly in touch with Amedy Coulibaly at 3pm - long before the police assault this evening - says the gunman told its reporter that he had “four dead” in the supermarket at 3pm. If this is confirmed by police, it means none of the dead hostages were killed during the assault.
When Coulibaly stormed the store at around 1pm this afternoon, witnesses spoke of two rounds of gunshots of about five minutes apart, with two shots ringing out each time.
20:13 - Hollande - "We will not buckle"
The president said that “we’re capable of responding to attacks with force, but also solidarity. We’re a free people, who don’t buckle under pressure, who are not afraid, because we defend an ideal that is bigger than ourselves.”
20:06 - Killers have "nothing to do with Muslim religion"
Clearly in a message to those who have been taking out their anger by attacking Muslim targets in France in recent days Hollande said 'these fanatics have nothing to do with Muslim religion'
20:04 – Hollande: ‘France remains a target’
19:55 - Hollande denounces "appalling anti-Semitic attack"
The French president has been speaking to the nation on live TV. He expressed solidarity with families of victims and and those injured . He said he was proud of the "courageous and efficient" security forces who took part in the two raids.
He denounced the "anti-Semitic" attack at the Kosher supermarket, which was he described as "appalling".
@TheLocalFrance he forgot cowardly, but his words brought a tear to my ex pat eye so I'll forgive this— Madamemcwhy (@madamemcwhy) January 9, 2015
19:48 - More on the conversations between the gunmen and French TV
According to reports from various sources there was potential second gunman at the Kosher supermarket. There is a body that police have not been able to identify, that may be an accomplice of Almedy Coulibaly.
Police released a mugshot of Coulibaly's partner Hayat Boumeddiene earlier in the day. She was implicated in the shooting of the policewoman on Thursday, but was not at the store on Thursday. Police are still trying to track her down, we believe.
19:37 - Gunmen talked to French TV
BFM TV have said they were in contact with the Kouachi brothers and the gunman at the Kosher store today.
The Charlie Hebdo gunman told BFM TV he was sent and financed by Al Qaeda. The Paris supermarket gunman Almedy Coulibaly told French TV he was member of Islamic State group. He also said 'coordinated' with Charlie Hebdo gunmen.
We'll have more to follow on this
Here's a smmary from AFP on the incredible story of the worker who hid from the Kouachi brothers all day:
A 26-year-old man taken hostage Friday by the two gunmen who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre gave them the slip as commandos launched an assault that killed the Islamist brothers, a security source said.
The man, whom he did not name, emerged "safe and sound" from the printing firm in the village of Dammartin-en-Goele, just northeast of Paris, where the
gunmen had holed up, the official told AFP.
He had escaped from them inside the building and locked himself in a room, just as they were heading outside with their automatic assault rifles in hand.
19:19 - Place de la Republique in Paris holds another vigil on Friday
Place de la Repubique in Paris is filling up once again tonight with members of the public wanting to pay their respects and show solidarity and resistance as they have done for the last two nights.
19:13 - #JesuisCharlie is one most used hashtags in history on Twitter
This video shows the activity on Twitter using the hashtag #JesuisCharlie since the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices on Wednesday morning.
19:05 - Latest summary of the two double hostage drama in France today
Here's a summary from AFP:
Elite French police stormed a printworks and a Jewish supermarket Friday, killing two brothers wanted for the Charlie Hebdo attack and a gunman linked to them in a dramatic end to twin sieges that
As shots and explosions rang out in the City of Light, five people, including the gunman, were found dead in the aftermath of the assault on the Jewish store in eastern Paris and several captives were freed, security
A further four people were in critical condition after the raid, as ambulances raced to the scene, joining a jam of police vans, other emergency vehicles and helicopters buzzing overhead.
"It's war!" screamed a mother as she dragged her daughter from the scene.
An AFP reporter saw at least one body lying at the scene, where the sliding glass door of the shop was completely shattered.
The dramatic climax to the two standoffs brought to an end more than 48 hours of fear and uncertainty that began when the two brothers slaughtered 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the bloodiest attack on French soil in half a century.
The weekly had lampooned jihadists and repeatedly published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which angered many Muslims.
A woman living in an apartment two storeys above the supermarket, Virginie Handani, 35, said she heard "two big bangs and gunfire that lasted around a minute" when the assault started.
President Francois Hollande was to address the nation before 1900 GMT.
19:00 - More footage of the police assault on the Kosher store
This is appears to have been taken by amateur cameraman living near scene of the siege at the Porte de Vincennes.
18:57 - Footage of the police assault on store
18:51 - Hostages hid in cold room of store
Stories are emerging about the hostages, or indeed the shoppers caught up in the siege at the Kosher store. Le Parisien newspaper claimed several people, whose number included a new born baby, hid in the cold room at the "Hyper Cacher" store.
EU president Donald Tusk will join a mass rally on Sunday in Paris to show solidarity after the terror attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket, his spokesman told AFP Friday.
"President Tusk received a call from President Hollande and he will go to Paris to take part in the march," spokesman Preben Aamann said. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and British premier David Cameron have also said they will attend.
I've accepted President Hollande's invitation to join the Unity Rally in Paris this Sunday - celebrating the values behind #CharlieHebdo.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) January 9, 2015
18:42 - Rumours of escaped second gunman at Paris store
There are now reports from the scene at the Paris store that there was a second gunman, he was male and he has escaped the scene. This is unconfirmed. And given the amount of police who were on the scene and had cordoned off the area, it appears unlikely that anyone could have escaped the scene.
Confusing reports about what precipitated the end of the two sieges. Watching live images it appeared they were coordinated by police, which is expected given that gunman Almedy Coulibaly had threatened to kill hostages at the Jewish store if he found out police had stormed the printing works in the village of Dammartin-en-Goële, where his accomplices Said and CHerif Kouachi were holed up.
There are also reports the the Kouachi brothers came out firing which prompted the end of the siege and forced police to storm the Kosher store.
There appears anyway to be a delay at least between the two police assaults.
18:25 - Latest on hostages killed at Kosher supermarket
Five people were killed, including the gunman, and four were left critically wounded after a hostage drama in eastern Paris ended with a police assault on Friday.
Gunfire erupted as police stormed the Jewish store, where at least one armed assailant had seized hostages in Porte de Vincennes on the edge of the city. It was not immediately clear if the casualties occurred during the assault or earlier in the siege, nor whether a second hostage-taker was among the dead.
18:22 - Did the Kouachi brothers know they had a hostage?
In all it appears the last few days have seen 20 people killed over all:
There were 12 victims at Charlie Hebdo, including two police officers and a policewoman in Montrouge on Thursday morning to the south of Paris.
There are reports that at least four hostages were killed at the Jewish store on Friday and then three gunmen themselves - Cherif and Said Kouachi, who were killed by police at Dammartin-en-Goële and then Almedy Coulibaly, the gunman who stormed the supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes.
18:14 - Four critically injured in supermarket hostage drama
Reports now say four people are critically injured after gunman stormed the Jewish supermarket in Paris. It's not clear if these are all hostages or perhaps police officers too.
18:03 - 'Five dead' including gunman at Kosher store
AFP have just sent out an alert saying the gunman along with four others have been killed at the Kosher store.
Police are reportedly searching the building as they believe it may be booby-trapped.
17:59 - Hostages killed at Kosher store
Some confusion around the hostages killed at the Kosher store. Reports earlier this afternoon said two were killed when the gunman stormed the building. There are now reports that four have been killed. It's not clear whether they were killed during the police assault to free them or when the gunman stormed the building.
Most reports now saying three killed when the gunman opened fire at the store at around 1pm this afternoon
17:56 - BREAKING - Hostages reportedly killed
Sky News are reporting that at least four hostages are dead according to "police sources".
17:53 - Another images from the scene shows hostages being raced from the Kosher store. One of them was carried by an officer.
17:48 - More images of the assault on the Jewish grocers
17:41 - 'Four police injured'
Police sources have told Le Parisien that four officers have been injured. It's not certain whether that's in total or at the operation in Paris.
17:34 - All gunmen dead
Police launched dual operations simultaneously in Dammartin and in Paris at theKosher store. Both operations appear to have been concluded with the daeth of the hostage takers - the Kouachi brothers in Dammartin and Amedi Coulibaly in Paris.
17:28 -the scene at the kosher store in Paris
17:26 - Several hostages freed from Kosher store
Our reporter says an ambulance has just rushed away from the scene where the hostages were taken to after being freed.
17:25 - Gunman at Kosher store also killed by police - sources say
17:22: The hostage at Dammartin-en-Goële has been freed safe and sound
17:20 BREAKING - Charlie Hebdo gunmen killed by police - various sources
17:19 - People seen running from the Kosher store
AFP says people seen running from store. Our reporter says she saw from a far people being taken to a cafe that is apparently being used as a makeshift hospital.
17:14 - BREAKING - explosions at the scene of hostage taking in Vincennes
Our reporter Priscillia Charles at the scene said: "We heard three to four explosions, then there was gunfire and then it went quiet. It lasted a few seconds, maybe less than 30 seconds."
It appears an operation may be underway or indeed have already taken place at Dammartin-en-Goële where the Kouachi brothers are holed up.
AFP sources say there is an operation underway. What we have heard so far is gunfire and explosions. Images show smoke coming from the scene. It's not clear whether this is just an preliminary operation aimed at freeing the hostage or the stand off is coming to a dramatic end.
17:00 - BREAKING - gunshots and explosions at Dammartin
An old 2009 article from Le Parisien is doing the rounds on Twitter that appears to feature Amedi Coulibaly, the man believed to have taken the hostages at the Kosher store.
In the piece Coulibaly and a group of young people are preparing to meet President Sarkozy.
"I don't know what I'll say to him.Perhaps he can help me get a job."
16:48 - Porte de Vincennes police presence
This gives an idea of the number of police vans and indeed officers on the scene near the hostage taking at the Kosher supermarket.
Our reporter at the scene Priscillia Charles, said things are relatively calm compared to a couple of hours ago when hundreds of police rushed to the area.
We are hearing police are going door to door around the homes and shops making sure people leave the area.
16:35 - Schools evacuated, others in lockdown
Certain schools around the Porte de Vincennes have been evacuated including the Académie de Paris. But those within the security perimeter are apparently still in lockdown.
Our reporter at the scene Priscillia Charles said she saw parents coming to school to pick up their children under police protection and were ushered away from the scene.
This tweet from a parent includes an email to him from the school to say no one would be coming or going, but that the children were safe and were "playing and working as normal."
Voici le mail de l'école de mes enfants dans le XIe. Je peux pas confirmer ce confinement pour toutes les écoles. pic.twitter.com/dygSFcSsLG— Matteu Maestracci (@MMaestracci) January 9, 2015
16:32 – Paris suspect 'threatens to kill hostages' over Kouachi brothers
AP reports that the gunman who has taken at least five people hostage in a supermarket in southeastern Paris has threatened to kill his hostages if police storm the place in where the two Charlie Hebdo suspects are currently holed up. Since this morning, they hold one person hostage in Dammartin-en-Goële, northeast of Paris.
16:27 - Shops around Jewish store evacuated
This image shows shoppers and staff members from stores near to the Kosher store at the centre of a hostage crisis being raced away from the scene by police.
Apparently shoppers and staff hid in the basement of the neighbouring stores when they heard shots being fired at around 1pm.
16:23 - Hostage suspect met Sarkozy in 2009
16:19 - Italian town 'bans new mosques' after Paris attacks
We've just spoken to our freelance reporter who is up at the village of Dammartin-en-Goële where the wanted Kouachi brothers are said to be holding one person hostage in the offices of a printing company.
He reported that there's been little change in the situation over the last few hours.
"It's pretty quiet. I'm relatively close to the building where the suspects are said to be and we can see police snipers occasionally race across the roof of the building. Obviously there's a huge police presence. All the children from the local schools have been bused out of the area.
"Some of them had leaned out of a window and chanted "Charlie", "Charlie"."
In terms of the situation there, we are hearing that no negotiations are currently underway there between police and the suspects.
- Shots are fired during a car chase on the National 2 highway northeast of Paris with two suspects who might be the Kouachi brothers, a police source says.
- The men hijack a car from a woman who says she recognised them as Cherif and Said Kouachi, according to police.
- One person is taken hostage at a printing business near Charles de Gaulle airport, and police swarm the industrial park where it is located. Army and police helicopters swoop down on the site.
- Schools near the building are evacuated, and the interior ministry says that police are trying to "establish contact" with the massacre suspects.
- At least two people are killed and five others taken hostage after a shoot-out at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris involving a man who police said might be linked to the policewoman's murder.
- Schools near the scene hard by the city's ring road are locked down.
15:50 - More on the link between the three hostage takers
A gunman holding hostages in a Paris kosher supermarket on Friday knew at least one of the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo
massacre, a source told AFP.
Amedy Coulibaly, 32, wanted over the killing of a policewoman on Thursday, is thought to be the man holed up with hostages in the grocery store at the Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris.
At least two people have been killed in the stand-off, a source told AFP.
Coulibaly is believed to have links to Cherif Kouachi, also 32, one of the two men suspected of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre on Wednesday that killed 12.
Kouachi and Coulibaly were seen together in 2010 while visiting another jihadist Djamel Beghal, mastermind of a failed prison break-out plot.
Coulibaly was convicted for his part in the planned break and was well-known to anti-terrorist police. Charges against Kouachi were dropped in the case.
The man they were trying to break out was Algerian Islamist Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 for a bombing at the Musee d'Orsay metro station in Paris in October 1995 that left around 30 injured.
Police released a mugshot of Coulibaly and his wife Hayat Boumeddiene, 32.
15:46 - Jewish store hostage taker 'makes demand'
According to reports Amedy Coulibaly, the reported hostage taker at the Kosher store has demanded the release of the Kouachi brothers who still holding a man hostage in the village of Dammartin-en-Goële.
15 :44 – False alert in Trocadéro triggered by rumour
Le Figaro says the false alarm was triggered by a rumour suggesting an armed man was in the metro.
15:42 – Schools near Paris hostage crisis on lock-down
All schools near the hostage drama in southeast Paris are on lock-down, according to the education ministry.
15:31 - Witness of Kosher store shooting:
"The people were just doing their shopping. A man entered with an shot gun and began shooting everywhere. Two seconds later I managed to get away but the shots continued to be fired," one witness told Europe1 radio.
15:28 - Jewish stores in Marais asked to close up as a precaution
Paris police have asked Jewish stores in the historic Marais area of Paris to close up as a precaution following the incident at a Jewish store in the east of the city. Jewish stores would normally close early on a Friday, given that the Sabbath starts on a Friday evening. But we are also hearing that Jewish stores across the city are closing up as a precaution.
15:21 - Interior Ministry says "no deaths at the Kosher supermarket"
Still confusion over whether two people have died this morning at the Jewish grocery store in Paris. According to France 24 The interior ministry are now saying no one has died in the incident.
However most other sites are still saying that two have died.
We are also hearing that witnesses of the shooting who may have been trapped close to the scene have been able to escape.
Je sais pas ce qui se passe là dedans mais ça pue. pic.twitter.com/oj03Kr8KII— Guillaume LO RE (@Fiaxhs) January 9, 2015
15:20 - Incident at TROCADERO has been confirmed as a false alarm
15:15 - BREAKING - Witnesses/hostages escaped from Jewish grocery store:
According to L'Express hostages at the Kosher supermarket may have escaped and are being led away by police. These are unconfirmed reports.
15:14 BREAKING: According to several media, the Trocadéro, near Champs Elysées in central Paris has been evacuated.
15:01 - Some reaction on Twitter
14:55 - Ambulances seen leaving the scene of the shooting at Porte De Vincennes in Paris.
14:44 - Mugshots released of pair believed to be behind Kosher store shooting
14:37 – Baby among hostages
Reports now say police are hunting two people in connection with the hostage taking at the Kosher store, including one woman
They are said to be Amedy Coulibaly and his partner Hayat Boumeddiene.
Although it is not clear whether Hayat Boumeddiene is involved in the hostage crisis or just wanted in connection to it.
14:23 BREAKING - reports of two people dead in new Paris shooting
This is the Kosher store where five people are said to be being held hostage.
In this pic, you can make out the Kosher store to the left of the garage where a gunman has reportedly taken five hostages.
Tension au max, toujours pas de mouvement visible à l'intérieur. pic.twitter.com/qf6XtyqDgB— Guillaume LO RE (@Fiaxhs) January 9, 2015
14:07 - A summary of what has happened in Paris today from AFP
At least one person was injured when a gunman opened fire at a kosher grocery store in eastern Paris on Friday and took at least five people hostage, sources told AFP.
The attacker was suspected of being the same gunman who killed a policewoman in a shooting in Montrouge in southern Paris on Thursday.
A police source told AFP the suspect was linked to two brothers who massacred 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.
Sources close to the investigation said shooting had erupted at Porte de Vincennes in the east of Paris on Friday afternoon.
"It is the Montrouge shooter," said one of the sources, adding at least one person was reported injured.
A helicopter hovered above as police swarmed to the area, asking people to remain at home.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was on his way to the scene.
BFM TV and AFP are reporting that women and children are among five hostages that have been taken at Kosher grocery store at Porte de Vincennes, to the east of Paris. The area is currently being evacuated by armed police.
Unconfirmed reports say one person has been injured and some members of staff may be trapped in the basement of the store.
Just to repeat, the gunman in this latest incident is believed to be the man who shot and killed police woman yesterday morning.
French broadcaster INFO M6 says the gunman plotted to attack a TV station.
opération de police en cours Porte de Vincennes pic.twitter.com/HCCUTPBpi5— Corbiere Alexis (@alexiscorbiere) January 9, 2015
13:52 - Images from the Porte de Vincennes incident
Hostages have reportedly been taken at a Kosher store on Avenue de le Porte de Vincennes.
13:49 - May be more than one hostage in latest Paris incident
13:43 - BREAKING - 'One person injured after shooting in eastern Paris'
13:35 - BREAKING - New shooting linked to second Paris gunman
Various reports say a new shooting and hostage taking in the south east of Paris today is linked to a man named as Amedy C. who is believed to be the gunman who shot and killed trainee police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe in Montrouge yesterday.
We are hearing reports that one person is injured, though that is unconfirmed.
An armed man had taken a hostage at a kosher grocery store, a source told AFP.
13:33 - BREAKING - Shooting in Porte de Vincennes today
French Raquel Garrido, an MP, tweets that “police in bullet proof wests are evacuating everyone. Operation under way.”
AFP are reporting that there has been another shooting in Paris at 1pm today at Porte de Vincennes today.
A man has reportedly taken a hostage after a shooting in a Jewish grocery store.
More to follow
13:27 - "We feel safe, there's so many police"
Michel Carn, local resident who lives just across the road from the industrial zone, has told The Local:
The interior ministry has just said the police are currently trying to establish contact with the two suspects, presumed to be the Kouachi brothers, who are holed up in a building, surrounded by police.
Earlier reports claimed negotiations were underway with the brothers and that they had told police they are "prepared to died as martyrs".
It's unclear how much contact the police have had with the two men or whether any kind of negotiations to free the hostage have taken place.
13:05 – Conflicting reports about hostage’s gender
Here's more from what President Hollande said earlier:
The interior minister has said that phone contact has been made with the Kouachi brothers.
12:43 - More pics from the scene
12:40 - 'I shook the hand of a terrorist'
Here's more from the witness who came across the Kouachi brothers this morning from AFP.
For Didier the salesman, a humdrum meeting with a client at a printing business outside of Paris on Friday turned into a
run-in with France's most wanted men as he "shook hands" with one of the magazine massacre suspects.
"When I arrived my client came out with an armed man who said he was from the police. My client told me to leave so I left," Didier said, identifying the man he was to meet with as Michel.
"I was in front of the door. I shook Michel's hand and I shook the hand of one of the terrorists."
He said the black-clad man who was wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying what looked like a Kalashnikov rifle told him: "'Leave, we don't kill civilians anyhow'. That really struck me, so I decided to call the police. I guess it was one of the terrorists."
Didier said Michel had closed the door behind him.
The salesman told the radio station he had not recognised the man.
"It could have been a policeman if he hadn't told me 'we don't kill civilians'. They were heavily armed like elite police."
"I didn't know it was a hostage situation, or a robbery. I just knew something wasn't quite right," said Didier.
"I think I am going to go and see my colleagues and play the lottery because I was very lucky this morning."
12:37 - 'War against terrorism not religion'
Here's more from France's PM Manuel Valls said earlier:
"We are in a war against terrorism. We are not in a war against religion, against a civilization," Valls said.
The country has been left reeling after the massacre on Wednesday of 12 people at a satirical weekly magazine by two brothers shouting Islamist slogans.
And as a dramatic manhunt saw police corner the suspects in the small town of Dammartin-en-Goele north of Paris, Valls said it would "certainly be necessary to take new measures" to response to extremist threats.
He said that current policies had resulted in five attacks being foiled since August 2013.
"We knew we could be hit," he said, adding he had no doubt the French would emerge stronger from the incident.
"What are terrorists looking for? To create fear, to pit the French against each other -- and we must be stronger than that."
12:34 - Aerial shot of Dammartin-en-Goële
This pic from Google earth shows the village of Dammartin-en-Goële and the industrial zone to the top right where the Kouachi brothers are said to be holed up.
12:31 - Cartoonists fight back after Charlie Hebdo murders
The Local's Paul O'Mahony has put together this gallery of some of the best cartoons that have been created in the days after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo.
12:27 – ‘No panic, police moving cautiously’
THis image from AFP appears to show what a police gunman on the roof of the building near to where the hostage situation is underway.
12:22 - BREAKING - Police link two Paris shootings
According to AFP, Police are now officially linking the two shootings in Paris this week. THat's the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 dead on Wednesday and the killing of a policewman in Montrouge on THursday.
There has been speculation that the gunman behind Thurday's shooting was linked to the same Buttes Chaumont network that the Kouachi brothers were part of. Although this has not been confirmed.
12:16 - More on the evacuation of schools
Here's what a spokesperson from the Town Hall at Dammartin told us about schools being evacuated:
Audrey Taupenas, Press Officer at the Dammartin-en-Goëlle Town Hall:
"For now, citizens are advised to stay at home.
12:12 - More tweets from the scene at Dammartin
12:10 Hollande in key minister meeting
We have just spoken to the Town Hall in Dammartin, where a spokesperson telling us that police are currently evacuating the schools. They are starting with a nursery and a primary school which are the closest to the industrial area where the suspects have taken a hostage and are surrounded by police.
12:04 - Residents told to stay home
Here's a screengrab from the Town Hall website of the village Dammartin-en-Goële.
12:00 - More images from the scene this morning:
France 24 Observers have been sent pictures from someone living in Dammartin-en-Goële.
11:55 - Aerial map of the scene of the hostage crisis
THis image posted by the Guardian newspaper shows an aerial view of the CTD (Création Tendance Decouverte) where the Kouachi brothers are believed to be holed up along with a female hostage.
11:51 - At least five helicopters on the scene
Reports say the one hostage being taken by the Kouachi brothers this morning is a woman.
At the Charlie Hebdo attack the terrorists are reported to have said "we don't kill women". That's despite the fact one woman was among the 12 victims of the massacre on Wedneday.
Reports also said that when the suspects stormed into the CTD printing company in Dammartin-en-Goële this morning,they shook hands with a member of staff, and told him to get out saying "we don't kill civilians".
11:43 - 'One of my colleague's friends is being held hostage'
#CharlyHebdo teacher in siege town says trying to keep children from panicking by singing rhymes and sitting on floor away from windows.— Kim Willsher (@kimwillsher1) January 9, 2015
11:38 - Suspects "prepared to die as martyrs"
This is unconfirmed but we are hearing the suspects have told French police they are "prepared to die as martyrs".
Analysts suggest the police would have expected to be told something along those lines and it may play into the hands of authorities who will want to draw the situation out as long as possible in the hope they can negotiate a peaceful end.
11:33 - Elite French forces publish photos of operation
THe GIPN (Groupes d'intervention de la Police Nationale) unit, which is one of the elite units on the scene this morning as published photos of the operation to "neutralise" the Kouachi brothers.
11:28 - Hospital staff being mobilised
This photo has been sent in by our freelance reporter at the scene in Dammartin-en-Goële.
11:19 - School children locked inside 'we are all scared'
As we reported before children in three schools in the village of Dammartin-en-Goële have been locked inside for their own safety.
One of the children has been quoted in French media:
He said: "We have all called our parents to make sure they are ok. We've been told we have to stay inside. All the lights have been switched off. We are all scared."
11:05 - 'Frenzy of police activity'
One of The Local's freelance reporters is on the scene at Dammartin-en-Goële and had this to say:
There's a huge frenzy of police activity, with dozens of police cars and vans coming and going. The village has been completely sealed off by police, with all roads leading to Dammartin-en-Goële having been closed.
There are huge numbers of police holding assault rifles around the building where the Kouachi brothers are holed up along with their hostage.
11:03 - 'We've locked the doors'
10:54 - Summary of situation so far from AFP
Two brothers suspected of slaughtering 12 people in an unprecedented jihadist attack in France held one person hostage on Friday as police cornered the gunmen northeast of the capital.
The hostage drama unfolded at a printing business in the small town of Dammartin-en-Goele, only 12 kilometres (seven miles) from Paris's main Charles de Gaulle airport, police sources said.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed that an operation was under way to "neutralise" the suspects as the massive manhunt appeared to be reaching a dramatic climax with helicopters buzzing overhead.
Prior to the standoff, the suspects had hijacked a Peugeot 206 nearby from a woman who said she recognised them as the brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, accused of killing 12 people in Wednesday's attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which repeatedly lampooned the Prophet Mohammed.
The attack was France's deadliest bloodbath in half a century.
Prosecutors told AFP there had been no casualties in the shoot-out.
10 :51 – Second shooting suspect identified
As many as five police helicopters are in the air over the village of Dammartin-en-Goële with specialist elite forces.
There were earlier unconfirmed reportsthat the Kouachi brothers fired on one of the helicopters.
10:35 - Around 1,500 police and elite forces being sent to the scene
Here's some images from Dammartin-en-Goële this morning, where a huge operation was underway to neutralise the suspects.
This is the building where the Kouachi brothers are believed to be holding a hostage.
10:34 - Interior Minister says operation underway
A police operation is underway to "neutralise" the two suspects in this week's massacre of 12 people in Paris at a satirical magazine, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Friday.
"An operation is underway which is set to neutralise the perpetrators of the cowardly attack carried out two days ago," he said in a televised statement.
10:31 - Flights diverted from Charles de Gaulle Airport
We are hearing that two planes heading to Charles de Gaulle have been diverted. That's probably due to the number of helicopters in the air above Dammartin-en-Goële, which is only five minutes from the main Paris airport.
10:22 - Prosecutors deny any casualties in hostage crisis
Earlier reports from French media said that two people had died and 20 were injured in an exchange of gunfire between police and the Kouachi brothers.
10:22 - Operation to 'neutralise' suspects, minister says
This is the business where the hostage situation is believed to be underway. It's a printing firm called CTD, where reports say five people are said to work.
10:18 - LIVE images from SKY TV
If you want to see images of the unfolding situation, see below.
10:14 - Schools closed in the village, children locked inside
The village of Dammartin-en-Goële is in lockdown, with children in the three schools being kept inside locked school doors for their own protection.
Varying reports on the number of casualties. We cannot confirm any officially as of yet.
In terms of the number of hostages taken, most reports say one person is being held by the two Kouachi brothers.
10:09 - Police have begun negotiations with suspects
The suspects have bee identified as the wanted Kouachi brothers.
The latest is that one person is still being held hostage by suspects. Negotiations have begun.
10:00 - "TWO dead, 20 injured"
According to Le Parisien two people have died and 20 people have been injured following an exchange of gunfire between police and the two suspects.
09:52 - Police swarm the area around Dammartin-en-Goële
This is where the hostage-taking is believed to have occurred this morning in the village of Dammartin-en-Goële.
Elite commando forces are on the scene as well as three helicopters over head.
09:42 - Suspects are holed up in a business in Dammartin-en-Goële
Numerous sources are now reporting that there is a hostage situation underway after the two suspects, believed to be the Kouachi brothers, entered a business in the village of Dammartin-en-Goële, to the north east of Paris.
They are believed to have taken hostages in a company called CTD (Creation Tendance Decouverte), which do comunications and design.
09:39 - Reports that hostages have been taken
Latest reports claim the two suspects being chased by police, may have taken hostages and are holed up in some kind of company offices in the village of Dammartin-en-Goële.
These are unconfirmed reports. And it is still not clear with this incident is connected to the hunt for the Charlie Hebdo suspects.
09:35 - Police involved in car chase with two suspects
We are hearing that a Police have been involved in a car chase with two suspects on the Route Nationale 2 in the SEine et Marne department after they stole a Peugeot 206 car this morning.
It is not been confirmed these are the Kouachi brothers the police have been hunting, but bearing in mind the chase as well as the shooting in the village of Dammartin-en-Goële is not far from where police were hunting the suspects yesterday, it's highly likely that it is their chief suspects for the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
09:23 - BREAKING - 'Shots fired' in Seine et Marne area east of Paris
Reports coming out this morning say shots have been fired in the village Dammartin-en-Goële, in the Seine-et-Marne department to the north east of Paris.
BFM TV say there has also been a carjacking by two suspects before being chased by police.
09:11 - "I saw horror" -survivor tells of attack
Charlie Hebdo journalist Laurent Leger, who was at Charlie Hebdo's offices at the time of the attack has been speaking of the horror he witnessed.
This is from AFP:
He said the gunman called out "Charb!" the name of editor-in-chief and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier who was living under police protection after receiving death threats for the magazine's provocative content mocking Islam.
"And then the shooting started, the smell of gunpowder... by chance I threw myself behind the table and he didn't see me ... a few seconds, and everyone was on the ground," he said, adding the gunman had shot at random.
Leger said that as the satirical Charlie Hebdo team were "jokers", he at first thought it may be some kind of a prank.
But the reality quickly sank in as the sharp sting of gunpowder hit his nose and one by one his colleagues crumpled to the ground.
Helpless, the veteran reporter huddled tightly in his hiding place.
"I saw the others on the ground, the sound of explosions, then suddenly there was silence. A long silence."
"I saw a lot of blood, I saw half the editorial team on the ground," he said. "I saw horror."
"I still don't know how I managed to escape."
08:30 - Counter-terrorist officers pick up search
Overnight searches by elite forces in a series of villages around 70 km to the north east of Paris have proved fruitless, with the two suspects continuing to evade detection.
Suspects Cherif Kouachi and his brother Said, remain on the run despite a huge security operation in PAris and throughout FRance, involving tens of thousands of officers.
Those elite officers picked up the search once again early on Friday in the area between Villers-Cotterêts and Soissons.
This is the same area as where the search was focussed on Thursday. It's near to where the suspects are said to have robbed a garage before dumping their getaway car.
08:25 - Muslim leaders to denounce the attack
Friday was expected to see Muslim faithful attending prayers across France after the head of the French Muslim Council called on people to gather "in dignity and silence", and urged imams to condemn "violence and terrorism".
08:20 - "Jihadists planning mass attacks against the west"
The manhunt came as the head of Britain's domestic spy agency MI5 warned that Islamist militants were planning other "mass casualty attacks against the West" and that intelligence services may be powerless to stop them.
"Vive la France"
US President Barack Obama was the latest to sign a book of condolence in Washington with the message "Vive la France!" as thousands gathered in Paris on a day of national mourning Thursday, and the Eiffel Tower dimmed its lights to honour the dead.
One brother trained with Al-Qaeda in Yemen
One of the two brothers suspected of carrying out the deadly attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is believed to have trained with Al-Qaeda in Yemen, a US official said Thursday.
Another US official told AFP that Cherif and Said Kouachi, who are suspected of killing 12 people on Wednesday in the magazine's Paris headquarters, had been on a US terror watch list "for years."
France's Justic Minister Christiane Taubira also told CNN that one of the brothers had been to Yemen, but did not specify which one.
The brothers, who were still on the run late Thursday, were both flagged in a US database as terror suspects, and also on the no-fly list, meaning they were barred from flying into the United States.
The first official told AFP that according to French intelligence, Said Kouachi traveled to Yemen in 2011, where he received training from Al-Qaeda's affiliate there in small arms combat and marksmanship.
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
France: A timeline of terror since the Charlie Hebdo attack
Why you should attend an international job fair
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Why expats choose international health insurance
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Why you should attend an international job fair
Nice attack: What we know so far
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
Why expats choose international health insurance
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party