Paris Live: Over 50 world leaders gather in French capital to take part in Unity Rally

A police official, Luc Poignant, said he was aware of one journalist dead and several injured, including three police officers in Paris attack.

Simantik Dowerah January 11, 2015 20:17:29 IST
Paris Live: Over 50 world leaders gather in French capital to take part in Unity Rally

8.15 pm: More than 50 world leaders join France in Unity Rally

World leaders linked arms at the start of a historic march against terrorism in Paris Sunday, walking in silence to huge applause as they led a mammoth procession through the French capital.

Paris Live Over 50 world leaders gather in French capital to take part in Unity Rally

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with French President Francois Hollande before the Unity Rally in Paris. AFP

Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel and David Cameron were part of the march, as was Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, though the two did not walk side by side.

8.00 pm: Tokyo, Sydney and New York rally to honour the victims of Paris terror attack

People gathered in cities around the world on Sunday to honor the 17 victims who died during three days of bloodshed in Paris last week, and to support freedom of expression.

The biggest event was in Paris, where hundreds of thousands of people, including leaders from around the world, were expected to take part in a massive rally, days after the attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers and a kosher grocery.

This Associated Press report takes a look at the gatherings in other cities across the globe:


Hundreds of people rallied in downtown Sydney's Martin Place, a plaza where a shotgun-wielding Islamic State movement supporter took 18 people hostage in a cafe last month. The standoff ended 16 hours later when police stormed the cafe in a barrage of gunfire to free the captives. Two of the hostages and the gunman died.

More than 500 Australians and French nationals stood side by side holding signs bearing the words "Je suis Charlie" — French for "I am Charlie" — and "Freedom" as they marched in condemnation of the Paris attacks.

"We have to stand united," France's ambassador to Australia, Christophe Lecourtier, told the crowd.

Among the French now residing in Sydney who attended the rally was Felix Delhomme, 27.

"People are sending a message that we're all together," he said. "We want to be able to maintain our freedom of speech. We are mostly concerned about the backlash there might be against the Muslim community. They're not more responsible for what happened than I am."


Paris Live Over 50 world leaders gather in French capital to take part in Unity Rally

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Sunday. AFP

A couple of hundred people, mostly French residents of Japan, gathered in the courtyard of the French Institute in Tokyo, holding a minute of silence and singing "La Marseillaise," the French national anthem. They then held up pieces of paper that read "Je suis Charlie" in French or the Japanese translation.

The institute, which functions as a language school, was running as normal during the ceremony, with students shuffling in, as the French flag — tied with a black ribbon — hung over the balcony.

"I came here to give support to fellow artists and I believe we should stand so these things don't happen again," said Alexandre Kerbam, 43, a French resident of Japan who works as a body painter and hair stylist.

New York

On Saturday, hundreds of mostly French-speaking New Yorkers braved below-freezing temperatures and held pens aloft at a rally in Washington Square Park, where a leather-clad pole dancer gyrated in a provocative display meant to reflect the over-the-top cartoons in Charlie Hebdo.

The dancer's live soundtrack came from a concert grand piano hauled into the Manhattan square for the occasion as she twirled under a sign that read "Je suis Charlie."

Olivier Souchard, a French-born New York resident who brought his family and friends, explained the fierce support for freedom of expression that drove Charlie Hebdo's images of the Prophet Mohammed.

"What we are afraid of is less freedom for more security — it's muzzling," Souchard said. He said he's been in touch with his friend Philippe Lancon, a Charlie Hebdo columnist who is recovering from surgery after being shot in the face in the attack.

-- Last updates for 10 January -- 

1.00 pm: French Police still hunting for terror suspect Hayat Boumeddiene

Police are still hunting for another suspect, the wife of one of the men, early on Saturday, hours after the fiery showdown with the gunmen who had kept France on edge since killing 12 people on Wednesday at the offices of the satirical weekly.

The heavily armed brothers were cornered in a small town northeast of Paris while a third man took terrified shoppers hostage in a Jewish supermarket, where four died and seven were hurt including three police officers. - AFP

10.30 pm: At least four hostages killed in Jewish kosher supermarket

Meanwhile police sources have told Reuters that at least four people taken hostage at the Jewish supermarket have been killed.

Meanwhile another report suggest that another female suspect is still on the run.

10.25 pm: More hostages emerge out of Paris supermarket

Television visuals show more hostages emerging from the kosher supermarket. Reports suggest SWAT members have sustained injuries, however no causalties have been reported

10.04 pm: Paris supermarket hostage taker neutralised

AFP is now reporting that the Parish kosher supermarket hostage taker has also been neutralised.

9.49 pm: Charlie Hebdo suspects killed, says reports

Charlie Hebdo suspects killed, sources are telling AFP. The killed gunmen came out firing at the police forces, sources tell AFP.

Mayor of Dammartin-de-gouele has confirmed that the two suspects have been killed.


The police have allegedly stormed the supermarket where another hostage standoff was underway. Hostages were seen escaping from the Paris kosher supermarket.

CNN reports that ambulances have been rushed in at the location of the Jewish kosher market and emergency workers have moved in.

9.47 pm: French police launch simultaneous assault at hostage sites

Three blasts were reported at the warehouse where the Charlie Hebdo attackers are holed up.

There is also another assault on at the kosher grocery store.

9.25 pm: Gunman threatens to kill

According to latest reports, the third gunman has threatened to kill more people if French police storm the jihadi brothers accused of killing 12 at Charlie Hebdo's office. According to CNN IBN, the gunman has taken at least 5 hostages in a grocery store in eastern Paris.

Meanwhile, Reuters said that police evacuated residents from Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris.

9.00 pm: Israel expresses concern over Paris terror offensive

Israel expressed concern Friday over a "terror offensive" in France after a gunman stormed a Paris kosher supermarket in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre and the killing of a policewoman.

"Israel is following the situation in Paris with concern," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in statement.

"The terrorist offensive taking place over the past three days is not only against the French people or France's Jews but against the entire free world."

8.58 pm: Hollande, Merkel meeting canceled

In the view of the security threats and terror situation the meeting between Germany's Angela Merkel and France President Francois Hollande has been cancelled.

8.50 pm: Cherif Kouachi, Coulibaly seen together in 2010

Meanwhile here are some details of the connection between the perpetrators of the two attacks.

A gunman holding hostages in a Paris kosher supermarket on Friday knew at least one of the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a source told AFP.

Amedy Coulibaly, 32, wanted over the killing of a policewoman on Thursday, is thought to be the man holed up with hostages in the grocery store at the Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris.

At least two people have been killed in the stand-off, a source told AFP.

Coulibaly is believed to have links to Cherif Kouachi, also 32, one of the two men suspected of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre on Wednesday that killed 12.

Kouachi and Coulibaly were seen together in 2010 while visiting another jihadist Djamel Beghal, mastermind of a failed prison break-out plot.

Coulibaly was convicted for his part in the planned break and was well-known to anti-terrorist police. Charges against Kouachi were dropped in the case.

The man they were trying to break out was Algerian Islamist Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 for a bombing at the Musee d'Orsay metro station in Paris in October 1995 that left around 30 injured.

8.40 pm: Police detain nine people close to Kouachi brothers for questioning

Even as the hostage situations continue in Paris, police have detained nine people close to the Kouachi brothers.

AP says, the nine people have been detained for questioning in several regions in France.

8.20 pm: Police take several steps to ensure terror situation doesn't escalate

The police is taking several steps to ensure that the situation does not escalate.

AFP reports that special forces have evacuated local residents in Saint-Mande, near Porte de Vincennes in Paris.

Meanwhile AP says, that the police have ordered all shops to close in the famed Jewish neighborhood in central Paris far from attacks.

Also France 24 reports

7.59 pm: French Interior Ministry denies reports of two people dead

The French Interior Ministry has denied reports that two people have died in the hostage crisis in the kosher supermarket, according to France 24. The police have also denied the reports, saying that one person had been injured and several people had been taken hostage, tweeted Joseph Bamat, France 24 journalist.

Reports also say that women and children are among some of the hostages trapped in the supermarket.

7.44 pm: Kosher hostage taker friend of Charlie Hebdo attackers

In new revelations, the police are saying that the hostage taker in the kosher supermarket Amedy Coulibaly is a close friend of Kouachi brothers who were responsible for the deadly attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

7.10 pm French police release mugshots of two people involved in killing policewoman

Now the French police have released mugshots of the two people, one man and one woman, involved in Thursday's shooting that killed a policewoman. They are suspected to be the same people taking hostages at the kosher supermarket.

AFP reports that the pair, named as Amedy Coulibaly, 32, and Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, are "likely armed and dangerous", police say. A heavily armed man, killed a policewoman Thursday in Montrouge, south of Paris and a council employee was injured in the attack. The gunman in the latest hostage-taking in Vincennes is suspected of being the same man who killed the policewoman, according to a source.

6.52 pm: At least 2 killed in hostage standoff in Paris Kosher supermarket

Reports are coming in that at least two people have been killed in the hostage situation in the east of Paris, says AFP.

Paris Live Over 50 world leaders gather in French capital to take part in Unity Rally

Police forces gather together on the "peripherique" (circular road) after at least one person was injured when a gunman opened fire at a kosher grocery store in Porte de Vincennes. AFP

This was the third round of firing in the last 48 hours. An armed man linked to yesterday's shooting that killed a policewoman is said to be responsible for the Kosher hostage situation.

6.32 pm: At least 5 hostages in Paris Kosher supermarket, say reports

According to AFP reports there are at least 5 hostages in the Kosher supermarket in Pr Paris. Meanwhile France 24 reports two people may have been injured that the grocery store.


5.58 pm: Fresh firing reports emerge from Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris

Even as the standoff with Charlie Hebdo attackers continues in northeast Paris, 'shots have reportedly been fired at Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris' says France 24. Also reports are coming in that an armed man has taken hostage in Kosher grocery in the city. BBC reports that this is linked to the shootout on Thursday that killed a policewoman.

5.55 pm: 1,000 students awaiting to be evacuated

Frace 24 reports that there are still around 1,000 school children in the are where the two Charlie Hebdo attackers have been cornered. France 24 says, "Dammartin-en-Goele deputy mayor tells French iTele that around 1,000 school children and high schoolers near standoff still waiting to be evacuated."

5.01 pm: Shooting in south Paris linked to Charlie Hebdo attack

Authorities have now confirmed that Thursday's shooting in the south of Paris is linked to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. French international TV channel France 24 said that police were evacuating schools which are in immediate vicinity of ongoing standoff between the French police and Charlie Hebdo attackers. While 12 people had died in the Charlie Hebdo attack, a policewoman was killed in yesterday's attack.

4.46 pm: Hostage taken by Charlie Hebdo attackers is a women, says report

The hostage taken by the two Charlie Hebdo attackers is a woman, say unconfirmed reports. Meanwhile the hostage drama continues at Dammartin-en-Goele as SWAT teams and medical personnel stand prepared.

4.14 pm: Prepared to die as martyrs, Charlie Hebdo attackers tell police

As the police continue negotiations with the Charlie Hebod attackers who have taken on hostage, the BCC reports they have told the police, "prepared to die as martyrs."

4.07 pm: We don't kill civilians, Charlie Hebdo attacker told man

The Charlie Hebdo attackers had allegedly told a passerby that they do not kill civilians.

The Guardian quotes the man as saying, "The man, who would only gave his name as Didier, said he had an appointment with Michel, the owner of the printing and publicity material business. Didier said he shook one of the gunmen’s hands who he took to be police special operations officer. He was dressed in black and was heavily armed with at least one rifle.

He said when he arrived at the business his client came out to meet him with what he took to be a policeman, dressed in black combat gear, with a bullet-proof vest." “We all shook hands and my client told me to leave.” Didier added that the man he took to be the policeman said: “Go, we don’t kill civilians”. He added “I thought was strange." He said: “As I left I didn’t know what it was, it wasn’t normal. I did not know what was going on. Was it a hostage taking or a burglary?”

4.04 pm: Charlie Hebdo suspects cornered, SWAT and medical teams deployed

CNN reports that all flights from Charles de Gaulles are cancelled as the hostage drama unfolds. SWAT teams have been deployed in the area that has been completely sealed off. Also medical teams are on the scene.

3.59 pm: I saw a lot of blood... I saw horror, says Charlie Hebdo survivor

When a masked gunman burst into the Charlie Hebdo editorial meeting shouting "Allahu akbar" and fired off a hail of bullets, journalist Laurent Leger threw himself behind a corner table and hid as horror unfolded around him.

The journalists were wrapping up their weekly meeting when they heard what sounded like "fireworks" outside, Leger told AFP, whose reflex to hide would make him one of few survivors of the bloodbath. He looked like a member of the special forces, "he was masked, dressed all in black, he was holding his weapon with both hands," Leger told France Info radio.

He said the gunman called out "Charb!" the name of editor-in-chief and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier who was living under police protection after receiving death threats for the magazine's provocative content mocking Islam. "And then the shooting started, the smell of gunpowder... by chance I threw myself behind the table and he didn't see me ... a few seconds, and everyone was on the ground," he said, adding the gunman had shot at random.

Leger said that as the satirical Charlie Hebdo team were "jokers", he at first thought it may be some kind of a prank. But the reality quickly sank in as the sharp sting of gunpowder hit his nose and one by one his colleagues crumpled to the ground. Helpless, the veteran reporter huddled tightly in his hiding place. "I saw the others on the ground, the sound of explosions, then suddenly there was silence. A long silence."

'I don't know how I escaped'

Leger said he heard footsteps and realised the gunman was returning. He heard the man exchange a few words with someone else and realised there were two attackers. "I thought they were going to walk around to find survivors," he said. But they were unable to walk around the cramped room and left. When the coast was clear he and others who were not hit got up to try and help their colleagues.

Leger said he held the hand of the weekly's webmaster while waiting for help to arrive. "I saw a lot of blood, I saw half the editorial team on the ground," he said. "I saw horror." "I still don't know how I managed to escape."

3.52 pm: Deployed all that is necessary where it is needed, says Francois Hollande

French president Francois Hollande says that the state has "deployed all that is necessary where it is needed." He also said, "We need to take preventive measures to avoid the repetition of what has happened in Paris." "We have heard of the possibility of others planing to cause more disasters," he said.


3.45 pm: Tense stand-off between Charlie Hebdo attackers, police

Now France 24 reports suggest there is a tense stand-off between Charlie Hebdo attackers and the police. Also Francois Hollande is at the Interior Ministry to follow the events live.

3.25 pm: Police identify suspects in Thursday's shooting

Even as the hostage drama unfolds in Dammartin-en-Goele as police have closed in on the Charlie Hebdo attackers, France 24 reports that the French police have also identified the shooter involved in Thursday's shooting in south of Paris.

3.14 pm: Charlie Hebdo attackers holding 1 hostage, police deny casualties

The latest reports from AFP suggest that the Charlie Hebdo attackers are holding one hostage. This was confirmed by the police. Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls has said, "France 'at war' with terrorism, not religion: prime minister." Also here's a photo of the security cordon in the area where the attackers are holed up.

3.08 pm: Police cordon off Dammartin-en-Goele as they close in on Charlie Hebdo attackers

The police have cordoned off Dammartin-en-Goele, the place where the hostage drama is unfolding. Television visuals show helicopters hovering over the area. CNN has also reported that a local hospital is sending medical personnel to the area.

Meanwhile Franch 24 is reporting, "Two of four runways closed at Charles de Gaulle international airport which is only some 12 km away from Dammartin, scene of major police hunt."

3.01 pm: Are flights being diverted from Charles de Gaulles airport?

Since the hostage situation is unfolding close to the Charles de Gaulles airport, reports are suggest that some flights are being diverted and some are even being diverted.

2.50 pm: Charlie Hebdo attackers holed up with hostages, police begin negotiation

The suspects are holed up with at a printing shop northeast of Paris as of now. According to France 24, "Police said to have begun negotiating with suspects now identified as Kouachi brothers." The traffic surrounding the area is now being diverted. The road surrounding the printing shop is blocked.


2.41 pm: 1 dead in shootout in north-east paris, Charlie Hebdo shooters cornered

In more bad news France 24 is reporting that the shootout in the north east of Paris has claimed another life.

Meanwhile AFP reports that Paris hostages have been cornered in the dramatic car chase and hostage drama.

2.36 pm: Shots fired as police cars, choppers chase Charlie Hebdo attackers

Shots were fired during a car chase and at least one hostage was taken to the north-east of Paris Friday, in the same area police were hunting for two brothers accused of slaughtering 12 people in an Islamist assault.

The hostage drama was underway at a business in Dammartin-en-Goele, to the north-east of Paris, and came 48 hours into a massive manhunt for the Islamist gunmen who attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear how many people were being held hostage, according to a police source close to the investigation. The frantic search for the pair suspected of committing the worst atrocity on French soil in more than half a century came as it emerged they had been on a US terror watch list "for years".

And as fears spread in the wake of the attack, the head of Britain's domestic spy agency MI5 warned that Islamist militants were planning other "mass casualty attacks against the West" and that intelligence services may be powerless to stop them.

2:10 pm: French authorities ask people to co-operate with police

French authorities asked people to co-operate with the police operation to track down the brothers allegedly involved in the shooting of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French police convoy, helicopters rush to scene of operation to detain shooting suspects According to a report on channel France 24, the two suspects hijacked a woman's Peugot car and had fled.

The whole area is reportedly in lockdown with a wide security perimeter, according to the report. The duo then reportedly took hostages in the commercial area of Dammartin-en-Goele. According to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve

1.58 pm: Gun shots heard in car chase north-east of Paris, one hostage taken by suspects 

According to an AFP alert, shots were fired in a car chase north-east of Paris. An AP alert says that according to French security sources, suspects in the newspaper shooting stole the car and are on the move again. The two, brothers allegedly with al-Qaeda sympathies, stole a Peugeot on Friday morning in the town of Montagny Sainte Felicite, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Paris, the official said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a situation that was still developing. According to a Reuters alert, "at least one hostage was taken in northern French town of Dammartin-en-Goele." The alert adds that the police has identified that two suspects in Charlie Hebdo killing are responsible for this hostage crisis.

12. 40 pm: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks out against Charlie Hebdo attack on his FB page

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has written a statement on his wall condemning the Charlie Hebdo attack and also spoke about how freedom of speech and ideas needs to be upheld. He wrote,

"A few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Mohammed that offended him. We stood up for this because different voices -- even if they're sometimes offensive -- can make the world a better and more interesting place. Facebook has always been a place where people across the world share their views and ideas. We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world. Yet as I reflect on yesterday's attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject -- a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world. I won't let that happen on Facebook. I'm committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence. My thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of France and the people all over the world who choose to share their views and ideas, even when that takes courage. ‪#‎JeSuisCharlie." ‬

11.10 am: Charlie Hebdo promises special survivors' issue, says won't let stupidity win

According to an AFP report, Charlie Hebdo announced on Thursday it will defy its attackers and publish a special edition with a print run of a million copies next week, as a wave of public support rose up to save it from bankruptcy. Surviving columnist Patrick Pelloux told AFP the magazine would bring out a "survivors' issue" next Wednesday to show that "stupidity will not win" after the attack on its headquarters which left 12 dead.

The newspaper's lawyer, Richard Malka, said that the 60,000 copies Charlie Hebdo would normally print was being multiplied because of the massive attention worldwide brought by Wednesday's bloody attack. Malka spoke after attending a meeting of the 30 remaining staff that discussed the paper's future and how to bring out the issue.

10.10 am: Charlie Hebdo vows to be back with 1 million copies

Charlie Hebdo has already announced it will be back next week with a one million-copy memorial edition in response to the global outrage over the massacre. Meanwhile,copies of the latest issue of the satirical French weekly were drawing bids of more than 70,000 euros ($82,400) online. The 60,000 print run of issue number 1177 sold out nearly instantly following the assault on the magazine's headquarters.

By midday Wednesday, scores of the three-euro magazine bearing a cartoon likeness of controversial French author Michel Houellebecq on its cover were popping up online at astronomical prices. Of over 80 ads offering the issue on eBay, some were available for immediate purchase at up to 50,000 euros. "Rare, latest issue Charlie Hebdo," said one advert.

8.20 am: On Twitter, #JeSuisAhmed trends to remember Muslim cop who died in Charlie Hebdo attack

A day after #JeSuisCharlie ( I am Charlie) was trending) worldwide, another Twitter hashtag is becoming a rallying point on social media for those mourning the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. This time it is #JeSuisAhmed. The last of the 12 victims slain in the terror attack on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo was a police officer, who was shot dead on the sidewalk by one of the assailants as they started their getaway.

In a graphic video, one of the gunmen in the Paris attack can be seen shooting Merabet in the head as he lies wounded on the ground, his hands in the air. As details about his death became known, a campaign of solidarity quickly caught fire on social media Thursday, using the hashtag, "#JeSuisAhmed" — I Am Ahmed. Read more about the campaign on Twitter here.

7.30 am: Police shift focus to small town north of Paris after suspects seen

Reuters is reporting that French anti-terrorism police converged on an area northeast of Paris on Thursday after two brothers suspected of being behind an attack on Charlie Hebdo were spotted at a petrol station in the region. Two police sources said that the men were seen armed and wearing cagoules in a Renault Clio car at a petrol station on a secondary road in Villers-Cotterets some 70 kilometres from the French capital.

Amid French media reports the men had abandoned their car, Bruno Fortier, the mayor of neighbouring Crépy-en-Valois, said helicopters were circling his town and police and anti-terrorism forces were deploying en masse. "It's an incessant waltz of police cars and trucks," he told Reuters, adding that he could not confirm reports the men were holed up in a house in the area.

End of updates for 9 January

10.33 pm: Thought it was a joke, when I arrived it was dreadful, says Charlie Hebdo columnist

An emotional Charlie Hebdo columnist on Thursday described the horrific scene that greeted him after his colleagues were shot dead at the French satirical newspaper's office and said "I couldn't save them". Patrick Pelloux would normally have been at the editorial meeting that was the main scene of the attack that left 12 dead.

However on Wednesday, in his other job as head of the emergency room doctors' association in France, he was attending a meeting elsewhere in Paris to improve links between the different emergency services.

"I was at this meeting when Jean Luc, the graphic artist (of Charlie Hebdo) called me to tell me: You have to come here quickly, they have shot at us with a Kalashnikov," Pelloux told AFP in a phone interview. "I thought it was a joke, but it wasn't. When I arrived it was dreadful," he said, choking with emotion. Pelloux arrived at the offices three minutes after the attack with a high-ranking fire department official, who Pelloux said acted "heroically" as he triggered the emergency response. "And as we were taking care of the victims, they (the attackers), were still on the streets killing people," Pelloux said.

10.05 pm: EU to submit new proposals to fight terrorism after Charlie Hebdo attack

The European Commission will submit new proposals to fight terrorism in the next few weeks following the deadly Islamist attack in France, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday. "I know from experience that one should not react on the moment to such events given the risk of doing either too much or too little," Juncker told a press conference in the Latvian capital Riga, which has assumed the rotating EU presidency. Juncker added that the commission, the EU executive arm, "plans to submit new anti-terror proposals in the coming weeks".

EU officials meanwhile said foreign ministers will meet in Brussels on January 19 and interior ministers will meet in Riga on 28 January to discuss counter-terrorism efforts in response to the gun attack that killed 12 people yesterday at the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper offices in the French capital. In Brussels, commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud gave no details of the talks but said that the commission will "throw its weight behind the negotiations" with a reluctant European Parliament on forging a Passenger Name Record (PNR) system.

The PNR would enable the 28 EU countries to collect and share data on all airline passengers in a bid to trace would-be militants, but it is opposed by civil libertarians who have strong support in the parliament. EU counter-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove is a leading proponent of the PNR as a way to track EU citizens who travel to Syria and Iraq to wage jihad. They are perceived as a potential threat to their hom countries as they will return battle-hardened veterans trained in the use of weapons.

8.45 pm: Terror attacks are a backlash, says Mani Shankar Aiyar on Charlie Hebdo attack

In an embarrassment to the Congress, party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has said that after what the US did in Afghanistan, there was bound to be a backlash. In a shocking comment Aiyar said, "This is what US did in Afghanistan and Iraq. Countries like US did what they wanted. Terror attacks are a backlash."

Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha condemned the attacks saying, "The Congress party has been victims of terror attacks. India has been a victim. The party condemns the attack. That is our stand. Aiyar's comments are personal." Meanwhile Nalin Koli of the BJP criticised the incident as saying, "It is highly condemnable. Aiyar's approach is dangerous."

8.15 pm: Tunisian jihadist may provide 'possible IS link' to Charlie Hebdo suspect

A French-Tunisian jihadist who assassinated two Tunisian politicians in 2013 provides a possible link between Charlie Hebdo suspect Cherif Kouachi and the Islamic State group based in Iraq and Syria, a researcher told AFP on Thursday. Boubaker al-Hakim is a member of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group who last month claimed responsibility for assassinating two secular politicians, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, in Tunisia in 2013.

He was previously part of the "Butte-Chaumont network" in Paris — alongside Kouachi — that helped send fighters to join Al Qaeda in Iraq in the mid-2000s. Kouachi is wanted along with his brother Said for the deadly attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday that left 12 people dead.

Hakim "represents the link between the Kouachi brothers and (IS)," said researcher Jean-Pierre Filiu, a leading expert on radical Islam at Paris's Sciences Po university. "It is impossible that an operation on the scale of the one that led to the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was not sponsored by Daesh," he claimed, using an alternative name for IS.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack, "but it is certain that (IS) is closely following it and waiting to see how it ends," said Filiu.

"I am sure that the video claiming responsibility is already prepared." He added that Hakim is not a very senior figure in IS, but gained respect within the movement after killing Belaid and Brahmi. Hakim claimed responsibility for the murders in a video released last month that was filmed in IS territory somewhere in Iraq or Syria.

Born in 1983, he is only around a few months younger than Kouachi and grew up in the same area of Paris -- the 19th arrondissement -- where the "Butte-Chaumont network" was established. Both men were arrested and convicted together in Paris in 2008 for their role in the network. Hakim was sentenced to seven years for running a way station in Damascus for young French Muslims en route to fight US forces in Iraq.

Kouachi received three years. "Hakim, and no doubt Kouachi, rejoined Al Qaeda's Iraqi networks after they were released from prison and accompanied them in their transformation into Daesh," said Filiu. "The combat experience they acquired was useful in the cold-blooded assassinations they have carried out since."

7.28 pm: Petrol station manager says he recognised Paris attack suspects

According to AFP reports, the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo attack had been located near a petrol station near the Villers-Cotteret commune in Aisne.

AFP quoted a the petrol station manager as saying, "recognised the two men suspected of having participated in the attack against Charlie Hebdo."

6.29 pm: Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi the two most wanted men in France

Two brothers are suddenly the most wanted men in France, suspected of the armed onslaught on a newspaper office that claimed a dozen lives and horrified this country and much of the world. Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, became the targets of a mammoth manhunt following Wednesday's murderous attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.

The younger Kouachi had been sentenced to 18 months of prison in 2008 after trying to leave to join Muslim fighters battling in Iraq. Associated Press reporters who covered the trial, which exposed a recruiting pipeline for Islamic holy war in a rough multiethnic and working-class neighborhood of northeastern Paris, recalled a skinny young defendant who appeared very nervous in court.

Cherif Kouachi's lawyer said at the time his client had gotten in with the wrong crowd, and in over his head. During the trial, Kouachi was said to have undergone only minimal training for combat, going jogging to shape up physically and learning how a Kalashnikov automatic rifle works by studying a sketch.

The former pizza deliveryman was described as a reluctant holy warrior, relieved to have been stopped by French counterespionage officials from taking a Syria-bound flight that was ultimately supposed to lead him to the battlefields of Iraq. But imprisonment changed his former client, attorney Vincent Ollivier told Le Parisien newspaper in a story published Thursday.

Cherif Kouachi became closed off and unresponsive, and started growing a beard, Ollivier said. The time in prison, the lawyer said, may have turned him into a time bomb. Less is known publicly about the older Kouachi, but Prime Minister Manuel Valls told French radio Thursday that both brothers were known to intelligence services and were likely being followed before the Charlie Hebdo attack. A third suspect identified by French authorities in the assault, in which 12 people were injured, has turned himself in.

5.58 pm: Pope Francis holds Mass in memory of Charlie Hebdo victims

Pope Francis has celebrated a Mass in memory of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, decrying the "human cruelty" that people are capable of. Francis asked for prayers for the victims at the start of Mass and said "we also ask for those who are cruel so that the Lord may change their heart." Francis also sent a one-line tweet from his @Pontifex handle: #PrayersforParis.

The Vatican has sought to mend relations with Islam that were initially strained under Pope Benedict XVI. Francis has a long history of promoting interfaith dialogue. During Thursday's Mass, Francis said: "The attack yesterday in Paris makes us think about so much cruelty — human cruelty. ... Let us pray, in this Mass, for the victims of this cruelty."

5.13 pm: Islamic groups in France urge imams to condemn terrorism

France's main Islamic groups urged Muslims across the country to observe a minute of silence on Thursday and for imams to condemn terrorism in the wake of the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine. The groups called on "Muslim citizens of France to observe a minute of silence today at midday, along with the rest of the nation, in memory of the victims of terrorism."

The appeal -- issued by Muslim assemblies from across France -- also called on imams at Friday prayers to "condemn the violence and the terrorism with maximum firmness." Muslim citizens were also asked to join "in massive numbers" a national day of solidarity on Sunday where demonstrators are expected to take to the streets of towns across France.

4.38 pm: France observes minute of silence for Charlie Hebdo victims

According to AFP reports, France has observed a minute of silence to honour those who lost their lives at the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

4.16 pm: France struck in the heart, says Francois Hollande

French President Francois Hollande says the country has been "struck in the heart" of its capital city in the attacks on a satirical newspaper that killed 12. Hollande spoke Thursday morning during a national day of mourning.

4.05 pm: Two armed Charlie Hebdo attackers located in north France, says sources

Meanwhile sources have told AFP that two armed suspects who were involved in the deadly attack on satirical magazine have been located in north France.

3.54 pm: Charlie Hebdo will be published next week, says promises employee

Despite the attack on Charlie Hebdo that killed 10 journalists on Wednesday, former employee Caroline Fourest has remained defiant. In a radio interview she said that that next issue of the magazine will still be published. In her interview the award-winning journalist described her colleagues at the satirical magazine as, "they were very sweet people, very funny people, very brave people."

Listen to her in an excerpt from her interview:

3.25 pm: In fresh firing, policewoman succumbs to her injuries According to France 24, the policewoman who was critically injured in the fresh attacks in Paris today morning has succumbed to her injuries.

3.18 pm: Several France mosques attacked after Charlie Hebdo killings, say officials

Meanwhile officials have said that after the carnage at satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, there have been several attacks on mosques across the country. This comes after another fresh firing in the city of Paris where two people including a policewoman has been injured. In another incident, an explosion took place

3.11 pm: Attack on Charlie Hebdo a disservice to Islam, says Omar Abdullah

Outgoing Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said the attack on the office of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was a disservice to Islam. "Nobody does a bigger disservice to Muslims & Islam then the those who go around murdering people in the name of my religion(sic)," Omar wrote on micro blogging website Twitter.

3.02 pm: Ex-prez Sarkozy calls for unity, new ways to enhance security in France

Former president of France Nicolas Sarkozy said that he was overwhelmed with emotions by the two deadly attacks on Paris in the last 24 hours. Calling for new ways to enhance security, Sarkozy said, "These times call for unity among the people of France.We have a scheduled a new meeting in afternoon in the wake of this crisis." "I am emotional because of the barbaric events we have witnessed recently," he said.

2.50 pm: Gunman who shot cop is on the run, says French interior minister

Now the French Interior Minister has said that the gunman who shot the policewoman in the second firing in Paris is on the run.

2.28 pm: Policewoman, city employee critically injured in fresh firing

A policewoman and a city employee were critical Thursday after a man fired on them with an automatic rifle outside Paris, police said, but no link has yet been established with Wednesday's deadly magazine attack. A suspect has since been detained, another source close to the case said.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has rushed to the scene of the incident near Porte de Chatillon south of Paris. Meanwhile according to CNN-IBN reports French authorities have confirmed a link between the Charlie Hebdo attack and today's shooting.

2.20 pm: Explosion in Lyon restaurant near a mosque, say reports

There are also reports coming in of an explosion near a mosque in a restaurant in French city Lyon. However there are no reports of injuries yet.

1. 43 pm: Two policeman shot in fresh firing in Paris, suspect detained

A day after the attack on French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, shooting in southern Paris wounds two French officers. However, the connection with the Charlie Hebdo terror attack is not clear yet. According to French media, a suspect has been detained for questioning. The fresh shooting was in the South of Paris. According to reports, the place where the shooting took place is a populated area.

According to reports in Telegraph, the police officer injured at Malakoff, southern Paris, is a woman. "She is in a critical condition. The site has been cordoned off, with droves of police and emergency services."

"According to iTele, two motorists were arguing after a collision, and when two police officers came over to help, one of the motorists opened fire. One suspect has been arrested, but the shooter has reportedly fled," reports Telegraph.

According to reports, the attackers fled in a metro following the incident. France's top security official left an emergency government meeting to travel to the scene of Thursday's shooting, which comes amid high tensions. Paris police and a French security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, said it was too early to draw any connection between the shootings.

12. 35 pm: French PM says 'several arrests' made overnight in hunt for suspects

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, reported Associated Press.

In an interview with RTL radio Thursday, Valls said preventing another attack "is our main concern," as he explained why authorities released photos of the two men along with a plea for witnesses to come forward. Meanwhile, France's interior minister said that 7 held in hunt for Paris killers, reports AFP.

12:20 pm: Ready to pay Rs 51 cr reward to attackers, says BSP leader

A Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader justified the attack of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, where three gunmen killed 12 people. "Whoever dare show disrespect for Prophet will invite death like the cartoonists and journalists of Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo," Haji Yakoob Qureshi told Hindustan Times.

“Rasul ke ashiq unhe saja de dete hai (followers of Prophet punish them),” the former minister said. The former minister said that he was ready to pay Rs 51 crore to the attackers. In 2006, he had announced a reward of Rs 51 crore for anyone who would kill the Danish cartoonist who had created a controversial cartoon of Prophet Mohammed.

10. 40 am: Hunt on brothers with possible links to al-Qaeda

One man sought in the deadly shooting at a French satirical paper has turned himself in. Mourad Hamyd, 18, surrendered at a police station in Charleville-Mezieres, a small town in France's eastern Champagne region, said Paris prosecutor's spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre.

She did not offer details on Hamyd's relationship to the men, but said he turned himself in because he heard his name on the news in connection with the attack. However, he claimed he is innocent. Police continued their hunt for two heavily armed men with possible links to al-Qaeda in the military-style, methodical killing of 12 people at the office of a satirical newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.

French brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, in their early 30s, should be considered armed and dangerous, according to a police bulletin released early Thursday. France raised its terror alert system to the maximum — Attack Alert — and bolstered security with more than 800 extra soldiers to guard media offices, places of worship, transport and other sensitive areas.

Fears had been running high in France and elsewhere in Europe that jihadis trained in warfare abroad would stage attacks at home.

Meanwhile, we spotted this very powerful image on Twitter:

10. 20 am: IMF head attends vigil for victims in US

The head of the IMF, Christine Legarde, has attended a vigil for the victims at the Washington Newseum in the US. Legarde said she attended the rally to show solidarity as well as sympathy for the victims. “We are all still in shock,” Lagarde said, recalling the “cartoonists who who have been a part of our daily lives for years.”

10.00 am: Hundreds hold San Francisco vigil to condemn Paris killings

Hundreds of people are holding pens, tiny French flags and signs that read "I am Charlie" up in the air outside the French Consulate in San Francisco to condemn the killings of 12 people in an attack against a French satirical newspaper in Paris.

A handful of participants in the Wednesday night vigil in San Francisco's financial district are lighting candles that spell out "Je Suis Charlie," while others deposit bouquets of white carnations and red roses or leave pens by the consulate's door.

8: 40 am: Gunman who surrendered now claims innocence

According to The Guardian, French news broadcaster Itele is reporting the young alleged gunman who handed himself in to police earlier has claimed innocence.

According to reports, the alleged gunman said that he was in school at the time of the attack.

8 Jan, 7. 20 am: Youngest suspect surrenders

According to AFP reports, the youngest of three suspects in Paris attack has surrendered to police. The 18 year old suspect has been identified as Hamid Mourad. Meanwhile, the French police have released pictures of brothers wanted over magazine massacre.

Paris police said arrest warrants had been issued for Cherif Kouachi, 32 and his 34-year-old brother Said who were "likely armed and dangerous".

End of updates for 7 January

10.59 pm: #JeSuisCharlie, #IAmCharlie trending on Twitter

People on Twitter extended support to the people of Paris as #JeSuisCharlie and #IAmCharlie began trending on Twitter.

Nearly five hours after the incident, #JeSuisCharlie had been tweeted over 250,000 times, according to one social analytics website, said this Daily Mail report.

10.46 pm: UN chief condemns 'horrendous' and 'unjustifiable' attack

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the Paris attack, saying the international community must stand strong for freedom of expression and tolerance.

"I want to express my outrage at the despicable attack today against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. It was a horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime. It was also a direct assault on a cornerstone of democracy – on the media and freedom of expression," said the UN chief.

Expressing solidarity with the families of the victims and the French government, Ban said the horrific attack is "meant to divide" and "we must not fall into that trap."

Apart from the UN chief, Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also condemned the attack. "This attack is an attack against the media and against freedom of expression." - PTI

10.24 pm: I stand with Charlie Hebdo, says writer Salman Rushdie

British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie paid tribute on Wednesday to the work of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo following a deadly attack on its offices Wednesday, saying religion must be subject to satire.

"I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity," said Rushdie, who was the subject of a fatwa, or religious edict, calling for his assassination in the 1980s.

10.21 pm: After deadly attack, Kiran Bedi questions Charlie Hebdo's cartoons

Former top cop and activist Kiran Bedi in a shocking tweet questioned French magazine Charlie Hebdo's sarcastic cartoons saying, "France Terror-Shoot-Out sends a message: why deliberately provoke or poke?"

However she later tried to damage control by condemning the perpetrators of the attack.

9.34 pm: American Embassy in Paris changes Twitter handle to 'Je suis Charlie'

The United States Embassy has changed its official Twitter handle to 'Je suis Charlie' which means 'I am Charlie' after the deadly attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

9.22 pm: Car in which gunmen escaped found in north-eastern part of city

Even as world leaders condemned the terror attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the car in which the gunmen escaped was found in north-eastern Paris.

8.35 pm: Danish paper that published prophet cartoon steps up security

The Danish newspaper that caused a global stir with a series of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed stepped up security on Wednesday after a deadly attack on a French satirical weekly, a report said.

Jyllands-Posten informed its staff by e-mail about the unspecified security measures after the armed attack on the Charlie Hebdo in Paris, in which at least 12 were killed, the Danish paper Berlingske said on its website.

8.23 pm: Turkey condemns attack on Charlie Hebdo, calls for fight against Islamophobia

Turkey on Wednesday said it condemned all forms of "terror" after the shooting at a French satirical weekly that left 12 dead but added Europe should also fight against growing "Islamophobia".

"We, as Turkey, condemn with hatred any kind of terror. We are against any form of terror regardless of where it comes from and what its motives are," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.

7.47 pm: Obama, Arab League condemn attack on Charlie Hebodo that killed 12

President Barack Obama has condemned the deadly attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Even the Arab League has condemned the attack, a report said.

Meanwhile, a tweet by the News On The Min said that a car explosion was reported in the city of Sarcelles outside a synagogue, hours after the Paris shooting. More details are awaited.

7.10 pm: They said they were Al Qaida, says cartoonist who let men in at gunpoint

A cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo, Corine Rey, has said that she was the one who let the gunmen into the office because she was held at gunpoint.

France 24 quotes Rey as saying, "They shot Wolinski, Cabu… it lasted about five minutes… I took cover under a desk... they spoke perfect French... they said they were Al Qaida."

7.01 pm: 12 killed in Charlie Hebdo magazine that published Prophet cartoon

Heavily armed gunmen shouting Islamist slogans stormed a Paris satirical newspaper office Wednesday and shot dead at least 12 people in the deadliest attack in France in four decades.

Police launched a massive manhunt for the masked attackers who reportedly hijacked a car and sped off, running over a pedestrian and shooting at officers.

Police said witnesses heard the attackers, who were armed with a Kalashnikov and rocket launcher, shout "we have avenged the prophet" and "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest).

6.58 pm: Vladimir Putin condemns attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine office

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday sent his condolences to the victims of the Paris newspaper attack and condemned "terrorism" in all its forms, his spokesman said Wednesday.

"Moscow resolutely condemns terrorism in all its forms," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency. "President Putin due to the tragic event in Paris... expresses his deep condolences to the relatives and loved ones of the dead and also to the people of Paris and all the French."

6.38 pm: NATO condemns deadly attack on Paris magazine office

"I strongly condemn the terrorist attack at the office of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris today. This was a barbaric act and an outrageous attack on press freedom. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. We stand in full solidarity with our Ally France. All NATO Allies stand together in the fight against terrorism. Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations can never be tolerated or justified," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement.

6.35 pm: Markel vouches for freedom of the press

Condemning the carnage, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the shooting in Paris is not only attack on French citizens, but on freedoms of the press and free speech.

6.30 pm: Charlie Hebdo cartoonist "Charb" among dead

France24 referring to French media reports said that cartoonist "Charb", whose real name is Stephane Charbonnier is among the dead. Charbonnier was chief editor of Charlie Hebdo.

6.28 pm: EU expresses shock

"I am profoundly shocked by this brutal and inhuman attack," European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker reportedly told BBC.

6.20 pm: Canadian PM joins other nations in condemning attack

Many heads of nations have taken to Twitter to express their condemnation on the horrific attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. "I’m horrified by the barbaric attacks in France. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted.

6.16 pm: British PM condemns attack

British Prime Minister David Cameron has tweeted out condemning the attack at the magazine office in Paris.

"The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press," the tweet said.

6.15 pm: Attackers swore in the name of The Prophet

Reports are coming in citing witness accounts that the terrorists shouted: "The Prophet was avenged" while carrying out the killings. So far, the death of nine journalists and two policemen has been confirmed.

6 pm: The last tweet by Charlie Hebdo before the bloodbath

5.45 pm: PM condemns Charlie Hebdo massacre

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tweeted condemning the killing at Charlie Hebdo. "Condemnable & despicable attack in Paris. Our solidarity with people of France. My thoughts are with families of those who lost their lives," the PM tweeted.

5.35 pm: French president Francois Hollande calls for emergency meeting

Terming the deadly attack at the office of Charlie Hebdo in Central Paris as a 'terror attack', French President Francois Hollande has called an emergency meeting of the cabinet at 2 pm (Paris time) to discuss the situation.

According to TV reports, France has been put on its highest level of security after masked gunmen indiscriminately fired and killed 11 people at the office of the satirical magazine. The gunmen are still at large and French police are hunting for the perpetrators.

According to a report in the Al-Jazeera, the gunmen wielded AK-47, Kalashnikovs and even a few rocket launchers. The streets of Paris were swarming with Army troopers and military men after the carnage happened.

The Guardian, reported that the president said that 40 people were saved but cautioned that the number of deaths may rise.

The news channel quoted a witness as saying he saw the incident from a building nearby in the heart of the French capital.

"About a half an hour ago two black-hooded men entered the building with Kalashnikovs (guns)," Benoit Bringer told the station. "A few minutes later we heard lots of shots," he said, adding that the men were then seen fleeing the building.
A police official, Luc Poignant, said he was aware of one journalist dead and several injured, including three police officers.

"It's carnage," Poignant told BFM TV.

A firebomb attack gutted the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in November 2011 after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammad on its cover, according to a report in Reuters.

5.30 pm: Shot from the terrace

5 pm: Bloodbath in French magazine office

At least 11 people were killed in a shooting at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper firebombed in the past after publishing cartoons joking about Muslim leaders, French TV channel iTELE reported.

Paris Live Over 50 world leaders gather in French capital to take part in Unity Rally

Firefighters carry an injured man on a stretcher in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, after armed gunmen stormed the offices leaving at least one dead according to a police source and "six seriously injured" police officers according to City Hall. AFP

France Info radio also said police had confirmed a toll of 10 dead and five injured. Reuters had no immediate official confirmation of deaths.

Reuters quoting the news channel quoted a witness as saying he saw the incident from a building nearby in the heart of the French capital.

"About a half an hour ago two black-hooded men entered the building with Kalashnikovs (guns)," Benoit Bringer told the station. "A few minutes later we heard lots of shots," he said, adding that the men were then seen fleeing the building.

A police official, Luc Poignant, said he was aware of one journalist dead and several injured, including three police officers.

"It's carnage," Poignant told BFM TV.

A firebomb attack gutted the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in November 2011 after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammad on its cover.


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