The Parisian brothers suspected of the Charlie Hebdo attacks have been killed in a violent police raid on their compound in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, according to multiple reports.
Chérif and Saïd Kouachi had been on the run for a three-day period. The Guardian has reported on the recent turn of events, indicating that brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi were holed up in a warehouse for hours with one hostage. Shortly after special forces stormed the building, gunshots and explosions were heard.
The outlet added, “Police have reported that the suspects were killed in the exchange.”
The ongoing hunt for the terrorists has come to a dramatic end just before 4 p.m. GMT. The final hours of the hunt involved a hostage situation in Dammartin-en-Goele, which sparked a major operation involving “Swat teams, military helicopters and armed counter-terror officers.” The Paris siege began at around 8.30 a.m. GMT on Friday when there were reports of shots being fired and a hostage being taken in Dammartin-en-Goele.
BBC News notes that “[t]wo police officers were injured in an operation at the Hypercacher supermarket,” where more hostages had been held by an additional gunmen reportedly linked to the brothers.
“The hostage taker at the Vincennes supermarket knew at least one of the suspected Charlie Hebdo attackers, a source told AFP news agency. The gunman had threatened to kill his captives if police attempted to capture the brothers, reports citing police said.”
According to Agence France-Presse and other sources, there were in fact deaths among the hostages at the supermarket. It was not immediately clear if they died during the police raid or before it. AFP also reported that a number of other hostages were critically injured.
#BREAKING Five dead, including gunman, in Paris supermarket hostage drama: security source
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) January 9, 2015
The gunman was also suspected of being behind the shooting of a policewoman in the southern suburb of Montrouge on Thursday.
The incident stemmed from the unprecedented attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, during which 12 were shot dead and 11 were injured. The attack shocked France, and there has been an outpouring of sympathy and a global response to the horrific acts.
[Feature image via The Guardian]