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Charlie Hebdo suspects killed as French hostage standoffs end

LOS ANGELES - PARIS -- Two separate hostage standoffs in France came to a violent end Friday, with the main suspects involved in the murder of 12 people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo killed.

Start of Final Assault
A flash of light and smoke appear, in this video grab, at the start of the final assault at the scene of a hostage taking at an industrial zone in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris January 9, 2015. (REUTERS/Reuters TV)

LOS ANGELES - PARIS -- Two separate hostage standoffs in France came to a violent end Friday, with the main suspects involved in the murder of 12 people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo killed.

Early on Friday, a man armed with a machine gun murdered at least two people and held others hostage at a kosher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes in Paris. Latest reports state that the man has been killed and the hostages freed.

Meanwhile, the two main suspects in the Charlie Hebdo murders, Cherif and Said Kouachi, held one man hostage at a printing company in Dammartin-en-Goele, 22 miles north-east of Paris. After gunfire at the site was heard, police have reported that the suspects were killed.

The gunman at the grocery is believed to have been the alleged killer of a policewoman in Montrouge. Unconfirmed reports have said a second shooter -- a woman -- was involved in the attack. Schools in the surrounding area, which has a large Jewish population, were quarantined. Thousands of armed police officers were deployed at both sites.

Global news channels are all reporting live from both sites, with constant updates drawing on social media, terrorism experts and news wire reports.


As French authorities sought to keep media away from the immediate vicinity of the sieges, and limit information on the hold-ups, coverage by the news channels emphasize the difficulties of real-time coverage. One instance: At one point, some news outlets suggested there had not been fatal casualties at the grocery. Another example: An armed incident was reported in the Trocadero area near the Eiffel Tower, which then proved to be a false alarm.

In Spain, news coverage on national networks cut away from reports from Paris to the impact of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter on Spain. Telecinco, Spain's most-watched channel, cut to Spanish police operations -- arrests of possible jihadists in Melilla and Ceuta in Northern Africa, and the creation of police checks-points along major thoroughfares -- as Spain raised the counter-terrorist alert level by a notch.

Spain has seen 2,000 terrorist attacks over the last 50 years. But the Charlie Hebdo slaughter is impacting security operations over all Europe, and a challenge to press freedoms as well as human life. That explains in part the intensity of ongoing news coverage.

In Italy, coverage of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the ensuing manhunt are deepening the divide between the reporting capabilities of pubcaster RAI and the country's private stations, including Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset and Rupert Murdoch's Sky Italia paybox. While private broadcasters are providing reactive state-of-the-art live coverage, RAI has come under fire for fumbling and failing to alter its primetime programming schedule to provide breaking news, especially on Wednesday when the attack took place and the story first broke.

"For Europe's most tragic terrorist tragedy in years, which created commotion all over the world, Italian TV viewers would have deserved more adequate coverage," lamented leftist Italo pol Lorenza Bonaccorsi, who is a member of the parliamentary committee that oversees the mammoth pubcaster.

"It's in instances like these that public service must make a difference to justify the almost two billion Euros ($2.3 billion) that Italian citizens pay every year," Bonaccorsi added.

The two main U.K. news channels -- BBC News and Sky News -- have been reporting live from both sites with additional material from experts and social media postings from people in Paris.

Related Topics: CRIME
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