The Paris terror attacks ended on Friday with two police raids, which resulted in the death of three gunmen and four hostages. Sustained gunfire and small explosions erupted in both situations.
The first Paris attack killed 12 people at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French magazine, on Wednesday. The gunmen escaped the massacre.
On Friday, French authorities raided a printing plant in a town near the Charles DeGaulle international airport. The raid killed the two armed suspects, al-Qaeda linked brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, and freed their hostage.
A second raid happened simultaneously. Police killed a gunman holding hostages at a Paris supermarket near the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood.
Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman, was an associate of the Kouachi brothers who wanted them to escape. He is also believed to be the man who shot and killed a police officer on Thursday.
Authorities are seeking Coulibaly’s wife, Hayet Boumeddiene, who was his accomplice.
Though police killed Coulibaly, four hostages also died as the operation unfolded. Authorities said it was unclear who killed them and when. There were “at least five” hostages in total and some managed to flee the situation.
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French President Francois Hollande called Friday’s violence “a horrible anti-Semitic attack” to the press. He insisted the country would not give into any pressure from these forces.
Hollande thanked the security personnel who ended the Paris terror attacks and neutralized the gunmen.
“But France, even though it did face this challenge, even if it is aware it has within it the men and women of the security forces, a body able of courage and bravery, France is not finished with being a target of threats,” Hollande said. “Therefore, I want to urge you to be vigilant, to be united, and to be mobilized.”
Charlie Hebdo lost 10 staff members, including its editor and leading journalists and cartoonists, on Wednesday. Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen said it directed the attack against the magazine for its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad the week before.
Even with the loss, the publication will resume on Wednesday. The magazine is known for satirizing other religions and political figures, but it had previously drawn many threats for its depictions of Islam.
While the Kouachis were linked to al-Qaeda, Coulibaly said he was with the militant Islamic State group. The two terrorist organizations are usually rivals.
In 2008, Cherif Kouachi was convicted of terrorism charges for belonging to a group that recruited jihadists to fight U.S. forces in Iraq.
Hundreds of French nationalists have joined jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria.
The Paris terror attacks over the last three days have killed at least 20 people.[Photo Credit: Thierry Chervel]