France to Hold Emergency Meeting to Avert Terror Attacks

France to Hold Emergency Meeting to Avert Terror Attacks

An armed member of the French riot police takes up a position at Porte de Vincennes in Paris. (Agence France Presse)

Paris:  Key members of the French government will meet on Saturday morning to decide on new measures aimed at thwarting a repeat of the attacks in Paris that culminated in a massacre of 12 people at a satirical newspaper, and a supermarket bloodbath that left four hostages dead.

World leaders have telephoned President Francois Hollande to express their personal sympathies. On Sunday Germany's Angela Merkel, Britain's David Cameron as well as Italy's
Matteo Renzi, and Spain's Mariano Rajoy have agreed to join in a unity rally in central Paris.

With explosions and gunfire, security forces on Friday ended the three days of terror, killing the two al-Qaida-linked brothers who staged a murderous rampage at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and an accomplice who seized hostages at a kosher supermarket to try to help the brothers escape.

Twenty people are dead, including the three gunmen. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene - the common law wife of the market attacker - is still at large and believed to be armed.

Al-Qaida's branch in Yemen said it directed the attack against the publication Charlie Hebdo to avenge the honor of the Prophet Muhammad, a frequent target of the weekly's satire.

The brothers were not unknown to authorities: One had a terrorism-related conviction for ties to a network sending fighters to battle American forces in Iraq, and both were on the U.S. no-fly list, according to a U.S. official.

Hollande urged his nation to remain united and vigilant, and the city shut down a central Jewish neighborhood following fears of more violence.

"The threats facing France are not finished," Hollande said. "We are a free people who don't cave to pressure."

The drama, which played out on live TV and social media, began with the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi methodically massacring 12 people on Wednesday at the Charlie Hebdo offices.

On Thursday, a gunman that police identified as Amedy Coulibaly shot a policewoman to death south of Paris and, on Friday he attacked the Paris supermarket killing four hostages and threatening more violence unless the police let the Kouachis go.

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