A gunman and at least four of the hostages he had taken at a kosher grocery store in east Paris have been killed following a police raid at the site.
Police said that the gunman in Porte de Vincennes had threatened to kill the hostages if police launched an assault on two brothers who had been holding a hostage northeast of the capital.
The Kouachi brothers were suspected to be behind the attack on a satirical magazine earlier this week and were killed in a simultaneous police operation in Dammartin-en-Goele.
The supermarket attacker is suspected of being the same gunman who killed a policewoman in a shooting in Montrouge in southern Paris on Thursday.
Police had released the names of two suspects, Amedy Coulibaly and his girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene, who they say are wanted.
A lockdown was in place in schools close to the siege site.
French President Francois Hollande had earlier held a meeting with Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Friday amid the police operations.
Police identified two suspects in the siege on Twitter:
— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) January 9, 2015
Analysis from our correspondent: Jacky Rowland
|Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland|
French police are very carefully managing the flow of information in relation to these attacks. They release, or leak, information to French media, notably the AFP news agency and 24-hour news TV channels, BFMTV and iTELE.
The timing of what they release is also significant. They announced the alleged “link” between the Charlie Hebdo suspects and the Montrouge/supermarket suspects only once they had the former surrounded in Dammartin.
They may have not wanted to reveal this “link” while the Charlie Hebdo suspects were still at large for fear of spreading panic among the public.
The police also delayed the publication of names/photos of the other suspects. Demonstrates a desire by the interior ministry to control the narrative related by the media.