French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says there were”several arrests” overnight in the hunt for two suspects in the deadly shooting at a satirical newspaper.
One police officer has been severely injured in the shooting near La porte de Chatillon, on the outskirts of Paris, French media report. The incident follows police raids after the attack on the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris.
The attack, which happened on Wednesday in the French capital, killed 10 journalists and two policemen. Eleven more people were wounded and four of them are in a serious condition.
One man has opened fire at two police officers, injuring one seriously, reported French Radio RTL. The shooter was reportedly arrested.
Said and Cherif, with possible links to al-Qaida, allegedly opened fire in the offices of the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, near Paris’ Bastille monument overnight, methodically killing 12 people.
Shouting “Allahu akbar!” as they fired, the gunmen used fluent, unaccented French as they called out the names of specific employees.
Dr Gerald Kierzek, who treated the wounded, has told CNN the gunmen divided the men from the women before opening fire. He says the shooting was not a random spray of bullets but more of a precision execution.
President Francois Hollande, visiting the scene of France’s deadliest such attack in more than half a century, called the assault on the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo “an act of exceptional barbarism.”
It has emerged that Cherif Kouachi was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted of terrorism charges in 2008 for helping funnel fighters to Iraq’s insurgency.
He said he was outraged at the torture of Iraqi inmates at the US prison at Abu Ghraib near Baghdad.
Earlier, an 18-year-old man suspected of taking part in the bloody attack surrendered to French police.
“Hamyd Mourad handed himself in to police … on Wednesday at 11pm after seeing his name circulating on social media,” a source close to the case told AFP.
A judicial source later confirmed Vals statement, adding that seven people have been detained in the hunt for brothers suspected of gunning down 12 people in the terrorist attack.
POLICE IDENTIFY SUSPECTS
Police have issued arrest warrants for Cherif Kouachi, 32, a known jihadist convicted in 2008 for involvement in a network sending fighters to Iraq, and his 34-year-old brother Said. Both were born in Paris. Cherif Kouachi was also known to French intelligence services for his his record of funneling jihadi fighters to Iraq.
The police published photos of the remaining suspects as they launched an appeal to the public for information. The police added that the brothers were “likely armed and dangerous”.
A third man, Mourad Hamyd, 18, surrendered at a police station in a small town in the eastern region after learning his name was linked to the attacks in the news and social media, said Paris prosecutor’s spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre. She did not specify his relationship to the Kouachi brothers.
Connection to Yemeni terrorists?
One police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, said they were linked to a Yemeni terrorist network, and Cedric Le Bechec, a witness who encountered the escaping gunmen, quoted the attackers as saying: “You can tell the media that it’s al Qaeda in Yemen.”
After fleeing, the attackers collided with another vehicle, then carjacked another car before disappearing in broad daylight, Paris prosecutor Molins said.
The other dead were identified as cartoonists Georges Wolinski and Berbard Verlhac, better known as Tignous, and Jean Cabut, known as “Cabu.” Also killed was Bernard Maris, an economist who was a contributor to the newspaper and was heard regularly on French radio.
One cartoon, released in this week’s issue and titled “Still No Attacks in France,” had a caricature of a jihadi fighter saying “Just wait – we have until the end of January to present our New Year’s wishes.” Charb was the artist.
Fears had been running high in Europe that jihadis trained in warfare abroad would stage attacks at home. The French suspect in a deadly attack on a Jewish museum in Belgium had returned from fighting with extremists in Syria; and the man who rampaged in the south of France in 2012, killing three soldiers and four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse, received paramilitary training in Pakistan.
Courtesy of RT