French police have killed three gunmen, including two brothers suspected of shooting dead 12 people in an attack at the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
Cherif and Said Kouachi were at the centre of a stand-off at a printing business in an industrial area in Dammartin-en-Goele, around 40 kilometres from an area which was subject to intense police searches on Thursday.
Police stormed the building several hours after a car chase that saw shots fired. A hostage was freed unhurt. Reports suggested the gunmen came out firing when police moved in.
In a simultaneous assault, dozens of heavily armed officers stormed a kosher grocery store in eastern Paris where a gunman with links to the same Islamist group as the Kouachi brothers had taken several people hostage.
Explosions were heard shortly before television pictures showed a number of people being freed.
The gunman was shot dead and four hostages were killed. Two officers were injured as police forced their way into the store.
A video of police storming the kosher grocery store with hostages being led away in the aftermath of the operation (via Youtube)
After police brought the sieges to an end, French president Francois Hollande called for unity and vigilance from his countrymen.
“With the prime minister I have further strengthened the means to protect public places. But we must be vigilant. I also call upon unity because as I have expressed before… it is our best weapon.
“Today in a kosher supermarket it was a terrible act that was committed. The people who committed the acts, these fanatics, have got nothing to do with the Muslim religion.”
Mr Hollande has invited a number of world leaders to a “great gathering” on Sunday, when he has called for “all French men and women to rise”.
Earlier police had said the gunman in the grocery store was believed to be connected to the killing of a policewoman at a metro station on Thursday.
French police had released mugshots of Amedy Coulibaly, 32, and Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, who were wanted over the crime.
Coulibaly knew at least one of the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a source told French news agency Agency France-Press.
It is understood police are still searching for Boumeddiene.
The exact number of hostages in the grocery store siege was unclear. Local media reported at least five were being held.
Police cordoned off the area in Port de Vincennes and interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve rushed to the scene.
Reports have surfaced that Coulibaly and Cherif Kouachi were known to each other and were seen together in 2010 while visiting another jihadist, Djamel Beghal, the mastermind of a failed prison break-out plot.
Coulibaly was convicted for his role in the planned break-out and was well-known to anti-terrorist police.
Two gunmen stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, armed with Kalashnikov rifles.