Elite French police stormed a printworks and a Jewish supermarket on Friday, killing two brothers wanted for Wednesday’s attack on Charlie Hebdo and a gunman linked to them in a dramatic end to twin sieges that rocked France. Here are some of the most striking images from this day of terror.

The first hostage situation began Friday morning in the town of Dammartin-en-Goële, about 40 kilometres northeast of Paris. The Kouachi brothers, who were suspects in the Charlie Hebdo attack, holed up at a small printing business with a 27-year-old male hostage. Police launched an assault in the early evening, in which both brothers were killed while the hostage survived.

Some reports said the assault was launched after the gunmen charged out of the building before being cut down in their tracks.

The second hostage situation took place at a Kosher supermarket on the eastern edge of Paris, near the Porte de Vincennes. The attacker was identified as Ahmed Coulibaly, the main suspect in Thursday’s deadly shooting of a policewoman in the Paris suburb of Montrouge. The hostage standoff came to an end when police stormed the premises, killing the gunman.

French police revealed Friday a connection between the Kouachi brothers and Ahmed Coulibaly. Coulibaly was charged for helping a suspected jihadist plot a prison escape in 2010. Cherif Kouachi was also accused in the case, but the charges against him were dropped after a mistrial was declared.

The Dammartin-en-Goële attack

The Charlie Hebdo killers barricaded themselves in a printing business in the town of Dammartin-sur-Goële, taking a 27-year-old man hostage. A client of the business told FRANCE 24 by phone:

It’s a family-owned business. There’s the father, Michel Catalano, his wife, his son and two employees. I know the owner; he’s a very hard worker. He works all the time. Most of the stores and towns in the region work with this business, and know the owner personally.

A person who lives near the printing business in Dammartin-en-Goele sent us these photos of the police on the scene Friday morning.

A resident of Dammartin-en-Goële filmed helicopters flying overhead in the morning.

Children were evacuated from a local school in the afternoon.

Photo : Le Figaro.

Below, a photo of the government’s “situation room” in the Elysée Palace. Many Internet users commented that it reminded them of the photo taken at the White House during the attack on Osama Bin Laden in Abottabad.

The Porte de Vincennes attack

When the hostage situation began at the Porte de Vincennes in the early afternoon, people who live in nearby buildings took photos of the Hypercacher supermarket (the building on the left in the photo below) from above. The usually busy street was barricaded by police.

Witnesses took photos of the police’s arrival on the scene from inside a restaurant.

The highway that circles Paris, which goes right by the supermarket, was completely blocked by the police.


Local residents took photos of dozens of police officers streaming towards the supermarket.

Just after the attacker took hostages at the supermarket, FRANCE 24 spoke to a nearby restaurant owner:

I went outside when I heard gunshots. I saw a man with a gun. Everybody started to run. The police then told us to stay locked up indoors.

A passer-by posted this photo of a police officer, gun in hand, near the supermarket.

Photo : Instagram nnorth

Meanwhile, the police broadcast photos of two suspects in Thursday’s killing of a policewoman in the Paris suburb of Montrouge. The man named as Amedy Coulibaly turned out to be the hostage taker at Porte de Vincennes.


False alarm at the Trocadero Plaza

Paris’s famous Trocadero plaza was evacuated on Friday afternoon after ourists said they had heard gunshots. However, the authorities quickly realised it was a false alarm.

Rue des Rosiers stores closed

The Rue des Rosiers is the main street in Paris’s historic Jewish neighbourhood. In the afternoon, the authorities asked owners of the street’s stores to close their doors.

Both standoffs end simultaneously 

Police launched an assault on the printing business in Dammartin-sur-Goëles at around 5pm. The two hostage-takers were killed, and the hostage was freed.

Photo taken during the police’s assault on the kosher supermarket. Via Harry Frear.

Police at the Porte de Vincennes simultaneously launched their assault on the Kosher supermarket. The hostage-taker was killed and two policemen were injured