France: from media massacre to showdown at hostage sites
The timeline shows a saga of violence
A timeline of the crisis in France that began with the massacre Wednesday of 12 people at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and ended with police storming two hostage sites, killing two brothers wanted for the magazine attack and at least one suspected accomplice.
Wednesday, January 7:
- Two men armed with Kalashnikov rifles storm the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a magazine known for satirical caricatures of Islam and other religions, at around 11:30 am (1030 GMT).
- They kill a maintenance man before shooting eight cartoonists and journalists, a police officer protecting editor Charb, and a visitor.
- The attackers climb into a black Citroen and exchange fire with police vehicles, and then coldly execute an injured police officer sprawled on the pavement.
- Following a collision as they head north, they abandon their vehicle, hijack another, and flee from Paris, where police lose their trail.
- France raises its alert status for Paris and northern regions to the highest level of "attack alert".
- Anti-terrorist police raid sites in the northeastern towns of Reims and Charleville-Mezieres, acting on forensic evidence and an identity document found in the abandoned car.
- Police say they are hunting three men, including two brothers: Cherif and Said Kouachi, 32 and 34 respectively.
The third man suspected of helping the brothers turns himself in.
Thursday, January 8:
- A policewoman is shot by a man just outside Paris and dies. Authorities do not immediately identify a link with the Charlie Hebdo attack, but say the next day that there is in fact a "connection" between the two shootings.
- The Charlie Hebdo suspects rob a petrol station in the northern Aisne region and the owner calls police.
- Investigators find a dozen Molotov cocktails and two jihadist flags in the getaway car.
- Thousands of security personnel are deployed.
- U.S. officials say the Kouachi brothers were on a US no-fly list and that Said had spent a few months training with Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
Friday, January 9:
- Shots are fired during a car chase on the N2 highway northeast of Paris later identified as the Kouachi brothers.
- The men hijack a car from a woman who says she recognised them as the Kouachi brothers.
- One man is taken hostage at a printing business in Dammartin-en-Goele village near Charles de Gaulle airport. Police backed by helicopters swarm the industrial park where it is located.
- Schools near the building are evacuated. The interior ministry says 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 whom police suspect of the policewoman's murder on Thursday.
- The police release mugshots of the supermarket siege suspect, Amedy Coulibaly, 32, as well as a suspected accomplice, 26-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene.
- As nght falls police commandos launch synchronized raids on the the printworks in Dammartin-en-Goele and the supermarket in the eastern Paris neighbourhood of Porte de Vincennes. Explosions and gunfire rock both sites.
- The brothers in Dammartin-en-Goele are killed in the assault, with a source telling AFP they ran firing at policemen. Their hostage emerges unharmed.
-- In the Jewish supermarket, five people are killed, including the hostage-taker, and four are critically injured. Several captives are freed unharmed. It is not immediately clear if some of the dead hostages were killed during the police assault or earlier in the siege.