Paris Attack: Manhunt On for Two, As Teenager Surrenders

The authorities in Paris have declared a manhunt for two brothers suspected to have masterminded the terror attack on French Magazine Charlie Hebdo offices which claimed 12 lives even as a teenager surrendered to the police, officials said on Thursday.

According to Paris prosecutor’s spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre,  Hamyd Mourad, 18, turned himself in at a police station in Charleville-Mézières, a small town 230km north-east of Paris near the border with Belgium after learning that his name was linked to the attacks in the news and social media.

Sources say the teenager who has been arrested is the brother-in-law of two men declared as suspects and that he was in school at the time of the attack. Mourad’s schoolmates have attested to the fact that he was on the bus with them at 7.30am and midday on Wednesday.

The police in Paris have declared a manhunt for two brothers, Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, believed to have a hand in the attack.

The two brothers, one of whom is suspected to have possible links to al-Qaida, who are suspected of being behind the worst terrorist attack carried out in France for half a century are still on the run. Security agencies have also revealed that the French nationals are linked to a Yemeni terror network.

The massive manhunt under way to apprehend the Kouachi brothers who are believed to be armed and dangerous, has shifted to the Villerete-Cotteret region earlier today after two men matching the descriptions of brothers were reportedly spotted by a petrol station manager.

AFP reported that two men fitting the description of the brothers robbed the station near Villers-Cotteret in the northern Aisne region, east of Paris, early Thursday.  The men were described as wearing balaclavas and travelling in the direction of Paris in a Renault Clio which had weapons on its back seat.

In response to this information, security checkpoints have been erected on local roads in Aisne while police in Paris remain on alert in case they try to return there.

On Wednesday night, heavily armoured French police raided an apartment in the city of Reims in the search for the killers. French officials said seven people were detained overnight.

The brothers are wanted in connection with Wednesday’s terror attack on a Paris media house, Charlie Hebdo, in which nine journalists and three others were killed in an assault at the magazine’s Paris offices.

Masked gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade stormed the offices and called out their victims by name before opening fire during a morning editorial meeting.






     

     

    Reports say that the gunmen were let inside by a female employee who was threatened at gunpoint along with her daughter and forced to punch in a security code.

    There has been huge outrage against the attack on the media house from journalists, French citizens and people around the world who have shown solidarity with the news magazine and France.

    Charlie Hebdo, like many other media/journalism organizations, has been targeted in the past over its portrayal of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Extremist groups have often lashed out against journalists, sometimes resorting to bizarre acts such as beheading and posting the video of the act online, as in the August 2014 beheading of American journalist James Foley.

    Reporters without Borders, a non-profit organization that champions the right to information and free speech, has revealed that 66 journalists, 11 media assistants, and 19 netizens and citizen journalists were killed in 2014.

     

     

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