I doubt that they’ll be taken alive.
Charlie Hebdo gunmen ‘abandon car and hide out in woods’ as special forces and police helicopters close in after men ‘armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers’ rob petrol station
Suspects: The three men were named as Cherif Kouachi (left), 32, his brother Said Kouachi (right), 34, and Hamyd Mourad, 18, of Gennevilliers
- Gunmen identified as Said Kouachi, 34, and brother Cherif, 32, both from Paris, and Hamyd Mourad, 18, from Reims
- Kouachi brothers ‘have fled on foot into 32,000-acre forest – bigger than Paris – around 80km north-east of capital
- Two men fitting description robbed garage while driving ‘Renault Clio with Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers’
- Officers find ‘Molotov cocktail bomb and jihadi flag in car which they abandoned before fleeing into woods on foot
- Cherif Kouachi was sentenced to three years in prison in 2008 for terror offences – but he served just 18 months
- Questions will be asked why Frenchmen with links to terror were apparently given free reign to carry out atrocity
- Seven connected to two main suspects arrested in towns of Reims, Charleville-Mezieres and the Paris area
- New terror in Paris as female police officer is shot dead by ‘North African with assault rifle and bullet-proof vest’
- Masked gunmen stormed Paris HQ of Charlie Hebdo with AK-47s shouting ‘the Prophet has been avenged!’
- Stalked building asking for people’s names before killing the editor and several other newspaper employees
Two armed suspects wanted over the Charlie Hebdo massacre are being pursued through woodland by anti-terror police in northern France, it has been reported.
The men, believed to be brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, have been tracked down near Abbaye de Longpont, around 80km north-east of Paris after reportedly robbing a nearby petrol station.
Officers are said to have found a Molotov cocktail bomb and jihadist flag in their car which they abandoned before fleeing on foot into a forest measuring 32,000 acres, an area larger than Paris.
French anti-terrorism police and helicopters converged on the area after two men matching the description of the brothers raided a garage around 6km away in Villers-Cotterêt.
The station attendant claimed the suspects drove off in a white Renault Clio with covered number plates in the direction of Paris with ‘exposed Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers’ inside the vehicle.
Amid French media reports the men had abandoned their car, Bruno Fortier, the mayor of neighbouring Crepy-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.
The dramatic development came as the manhunt continued for the ‘armed and dangerous’ brothers who have links to terror groups stretching back almost a decade.
Their alleged getaway driver Hamyd Mourad, 18, has already turned himself into police in Charleville-Mezieres in northern France.
All three French-Algerian Muslims escaped yesterday following the bloodbath at the offices of the notoriously anti-Islamist satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris.
In 2008, Cherif was sentenced to three years in prison for terror offences – but served just 18 months.
Questions will be asked why – once again – young Frenchmen with close links to radical Islam and its terrorist affiliates were apparently given free rein to carry out their crimes.