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Charlie Hebdo attack: Suspects ‘rob service station’

The two main suspects in the Islamist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris are said to have robbed a service station in the north of France.

Anti-terrorism police have converged on an area near Villers-Cotterets where the gunmen were reported by French media to have stolen food and petrol.

France has observed a minute’s silence for the 12 people killed at the office of the satirical magazine.

Earlier, a gunman shot dead a policewoman south of Paris and fled.

It is unclear if the attack in Montrouge, in which a second person was seriously injured, was linked to the Charlie Hebdo shooting, but French prosecutors say they are treating it as a “terrorist act”, AFP reports.

 

The manager of the service station that was robbed on the RN2 road, in the Aisne region, at about 10:30 (09:30 GMT) said the attackers fit the description of the two men, and were heavily armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
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Five of the victims known to have died in the attack, including deputy chief editor Bernard Maris, Georges Wolinsky, Jean Cabut, Stephane Charbonnier and Bernard Verlhac.
Those killed (from left) include economist Bernard Maris, prominent cartoonists Wolinski and Cabu, Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier and cartoonist Tignous
  • Economist and regular magazine columnist Bernard Maris, 68, known to readers as Uncle Bernard
  • Cartoonists Georges Wolinski, 80, and Jean “Cabu” Cabut, 76
  • Charlie Hebdo editor and cartoonist Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, 47, who had been living under police protection since receiving death threats
  • Cartoonists Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac, 57, and Philippe Honore, 73
  • Mustapha Ourrad, proof-reader
  • Elsa Cayat, psychoanalyst and columnist, the only woman killed
  • Michel Renaud, who was visiting from the city of Clermont-Ferrand
  • Frederic Boisseau, 42, caretaker, who was in the reception area at the time of the attack
  • Police officers Franck Brinsolaro, who acted as Charb’s bodyguard, and Ahmed Merabet, 42, who was shot dead while on the ground

 

Photos of the suspects released by French police - Cherif and Said Kouachi - 8 January
French police released photos of the Kouachi brothers – Cherif (L) and Said (R)
Police officers near the site of a shooting in Montrouge, south of Paris, 8 January
Police officers assisted a woman at the scene of Thursday’s shooting in Montrouge
A person holds up a symbolic pencil  in front of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, 8 January
People held up symbolic pencils during the public silence outside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

Paris has been placed on the highest terror alert and extra troops have been deployed to guard media offices, places of worship, transport and other sensitive areas.

Eight journalists – including the magazine’s editor – died along with a caretaker, a visitor and two policemen when masked men armed with assault rifles stormed the Charlie Hebdo offices during an editorial meeting on Wednesday. Eleven people were also wounded, some seriously.

Many cartoonists have been using the “Je suis Charlie” slogan in drawings to commemorate the attack

Cartoon tributes are circulating on social media, sending out the message of press freedom.

Thursday’s national day of mourning is only the fifth held in France in the past 50 years.

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National Days of Mourning in France

  • 12 November 1970 – Death of former President Charles de Gaulle
  • 6 April 1974 – Death of President Georges Pompidou
  • 11 January 1996 – Death of former President Francois Mitterrand
  • 14 September 2001 – 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington
  • 3 April 2005 – Death of Pope John Paul II

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