Cherif and Said Kouachi: Charlie Hebdo attack suspects rob service station near Villers-Cotterets
Cherif and Said Kouachi, 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.
They stole food and petrol, firing shots as they struck at the roadside stop near Villers-Cotterets in the Aisne region, French media report.
France has observed a minute’s silence for the 12 people killed at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
On January 8, a gunman shot dead a policewoman south of Paris.
A second person was seriously injured in the attack in Montrouge, after which the gunman fled by subway.
It is unclear if the attack is related to the pursuit of prime suspects Cherif and Said Kouachi.
According to the manager of the service station that was robbed on the RN2 road in Aisne at about 10:30AM, the attackers fit the description of the two men, and were heavily armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
They are said to have driven off in the direction of Paris in a Renault Clio car, apparently the same vehicle hijacked in Paris soon after the Charlie Hebdo attack.
According to French commercial channel BFMTV, police are monitoring all of the main entry roads into the capital.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for Charlie Hebdo, Richard Malka, confirmed that next week’s edition of the magazine would go ahead on Wednesday, January 14, and would have a print run of one million, instead of the normal 60,000 copies.
Following the shootings at Charlie Hebdo, there appear to have been a number of revenge attacks on Muslims reported by French media, though nobody was hurt:
- Two shots were fired at a Muslim prayer room in the town of Port-la-Nouvelle in the southern region of Aude on Wednesday evening
- A Muslim family was shot at in their car in Caromb, in the southern region of Vaucluse
- Dummy grenades were thrown during the night at a mosque in Le Mans, western France
- The slogan “Death to Arabs” was daubed on the door of a mosque in Poitiers, central France, during the night
- A blast hit a kebab shop beside a mosque in Villefranche-sur-Saone in central France
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.
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