Friday's dramatic events in France

AFP , Friday 9 Jan 2015

Developments on Friday in two hostage-takings by the suspected killers of 12 people at Charlie Hebdo magazine and by a third Islamist gunman suspected of killing a policewoman.

- Elite police forces comb the countryside in the hunt for two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, accused of the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, as the pair spends a second night on the run.

- At 08:00 am police exchange fire during a car chase on the N2 highway north-east of Paris with two suspects believed to be the brothers. The suspects earlier had hijacked a Peugeot 206 in Montagny-Sainte-Felicite from a woman who said she recognised them as the wanted men.

- In the late morning, the two brothers take one person hostage at a small printing business named CTD in Dammartin-en-Goele, a small town of some 8,000 people, 42 kilometres (26 miles) north-east of Paris and only 12 kilometres (seven miles) from Paris's main Charles de Gaulle airport. The town is sealed off by police, with helicopters flying overhead.

- Some flights are unable to land at the airport, because army and police helicopters are flying at low altitudes.

- Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says a police operation is underway to "neutralise" the two suspects and attempts have been made to make contact with them.

- Schools near the building are evacuated, businesses shut down and local inhabitants barricaded in their homes.

- At 1:00 pm (1200 GMT) a gunman opens fire at a Jewish supermarket at Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris and takes at least five people hostage. The attack is suspected of being carried out by the same gunman who shot dead a policewoman in Montrouge in southern Paris on Thursday. The suspect is thought by police to have links to the Kouachi brothers.

- In the early afternoon French police release mugshots of a man and a woman, Amedy Coulibaly, 32, and 26-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene, wanted over the killing of the policewoman.

- Around 5:00 pm (1600 GMT) French commandos launch an assault and explosions are heard at a building where the Charlie Hebdo suspects were holed up. The two suspects come out firing on security forces and are killed. The hostage is released unhurt.

- Around 5:15 pm (1615 GMT) commandos launch an assault on the Jewish supermarket. Five are found dead, including the gunman, and four critically wounded according to a security source.

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