Charlie Hebdo killers seize hostage and are holed up in business premises near Paris airport as they tell police: ‘We are ready to die as martyrs’
Armed police have surrounded the Charlie Hebdo killers after they seized a hostage and are now holed up in an business premises near a Paris airport.
Al Qaeda gunmen Said Kouachi, 34, and his brother, Cherif, 33, have reportedly told police negotiators: ‘We are ready to die as martyrs’.
They are surrounded in the village of Dammartin-en-Goele, around 25 miles from the capital.
Officials denied earlier reports that two people had been killed when the gunmen exchanged fire with police on a dramatic car chase this morning.
But police confirmed a hostage had been taken.
Snipers have their weapons trained on the building and helicopters are hovering overhead as negotiations were underway with the Islamic fanatics.
Runways have been closed at Charles de Gaulle airport, around five miles away over fears the gunmen have rocket launchers capable of bringing down an aircraft. Schools are also in lockdown.
Prior to the standoff, the suspects had hijacked a Peugeot 206 from a teacher who had been driving through woods near Montagny-Sainte-Felicite.
French media reported the brothers were in a car when they came upon her and abandoned that to use hers instead. She recognised them as the wanted men, a police source said.
Dozens of police then pursued the brothers along the National 2 highway, ending in Dammartin-en-Goele, close to the area where the huge manhunt had been focused on a forest overnight.
They escaped on foot with a hostage into a small printing business named Creating Trend Discovery, just before 10am (9am GMT).