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Kouachi brothers revealed to be trained al-Qaeda assasins

Suspected Paris gunmen, brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi
Suspected Paris gunmen, brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi

FRENCH authorities have continued their nationwide manhunt for the two brothers believed to be behind the nation's deadliest terrorist attack in more than four decades.

Brothers Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, remain on the run after 12 people  were killed and 15 injured after an attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in central Paris earlier this week.

A third man, Hamyd Mourad, 18, has handed himself into authorities.

READ MORE: Police hunt Paris gunmen through French countryside

It is believed the two brothers are hiding out in dense forests in the Aisne region north-east of Paris and near where they had earlier robbed a petrol station and abandoned their getaway car.

Heavily armed elite French forces went door to door in towns and villages throughout the region on Thursday evening (local time) in a bid to flush out the two terrorists.

United States authorities revealed on Friday the two brothers received al-Qaeda training in Yemen, were trained assassins and had been on its no-fly list for several years.

 

American and French intelligence and counter-terrorism officials were still trying to determine whether the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen had explicitly ordered this week's attack.

It is understood one of the brothers yelled "tell the media it is al-Qaeda in Yemen" while undertaking his murderous rampage in the streets outside the newspaper's offices.

The callous and sickening attack has received worldwide condemnation including from the Australian Islamic Friendship Association who said on Friday a swift response against the perpetrators was needed.

The Grand Mufti of Australia Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed has not yet released a statement condemning the attack.

The hugely popular Charlie Hebdo newspaper has been at the centre of repeated threats over the years around its publication of cartoons poking fun at Mohammed and Islam.

Those killed in the attack included newspaper co-founder and famed cartoonist Jean Cabut, editor Stephane Charbonnier, deputy editor Bernard Maris and cartoonists Georges Wolinski and Tignous.

Two French police officers were also killed in the attack, including Muslim police officer Ahmed Merabet who was shot at point blank range while he lay injured on the footpath outside the Charlie Hebdo offices.

- APN NEWSDESK.

Topics:  al-qaeda charlie hebdo paris terrorism

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