Paris Standoffs End In Explosions, Bloodshed
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A woman linked to the attacks in France is still at large today while French authorities meet to review security after three days of carnage in which 17 people were killed in attacks on Charlie Hebdo - a satirical magazine - a police woman and a kosher market in Paris. The attackers apparently worked together, but claimed affiliation to two rival organizations that are based in the Middle East - al-Qaida in Yemen and the Islamic State. Lauren Frayer joins us this morning from Paris. Lauren, thanks for being with us.
LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.
SIMON: What is Paris like today?
FRAYER: Well, if the French headlines are any indication, the newspapers say the end of horror, resistance, even the sports newspaper L'Equipe says we play on. This morning I went the Place de la Republique. It's one of Paris's main squares. It's - and in the center of the square, around a monument to liberty, equality and fraternity, people have created impromptu memorials. People have laid down pencils and pens. Of course, those are in memory of the slain Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. There are flowers, candles and, of course, posters with a slogan that's now familiar to much of the world - Je Suis Charlie. I am Charlie. I spoke to mourners there and here's what one man, Romain Garcia, told me a few moments ago.
ROMAIN GARCIA: It's a mix of feeling - sadness, hate, determination to defend our liberties. We are full of emotion now, and I don't know what will be the consequences of this reaction.
FRAYER: You can hear he's talking about consequences. And there's a fear of copycat attacks here. The Jewish community is on edge. Jews were of the target of yesterday's attack on a kosher supermarket where four hostages were killed. There's also a fear of backlash against Muslims. France has Western Europe's biggest Muslim community, so Paris is still very skittish. We're hearing reports even this morning of various alerts across the city. None confirmed, but it speaks to the still tense mood of this city. Even local traffic police that I saw this morning looked to have extra gear on them. And there are still heavy patrols of public transport and public places.
SIMON: What are some of the details that authorities are beginning to fill in and release about the suspects - the two brothers, the supermarket gunman, who were all killed, and, of course, the woman who's still at large?
FRAYER: That's right. So she's the one suspect who remains at large. Police describe her as 26 years old. She's the girlfriend or partner of the gunman at that kosher supermarket. This woman is also believed to have been connected to the shooting of a police woman on Thursday morning in a separate incident in Paris. Police say she's armed and dangerous. A huge manhunt is still underway for her, and her photo has been plastered all over French TV. Police have set up a tip line for any witnesses. They're calling for anyone to come forward with any information at all. There has also been a claim of responsibility in the Charlie Hebdo killings. A French television station is airing tape of a phone call that it says it made to one of the suspects, the Kouachi brothers - the younger of those brothers - before he died. And he said that he and his brother were prepared to die, that they killed in defense of the prophet and that they were sent by al-Qaida in Yemen.
SIMON: Lauren, the world will look on tomorrow as there's a massive demonstration, a march, including a number of world leaders. Tell us about that please.
FRAYER: That's right. Tomorrow French President Francois Hollande will receive visitors from all over the world - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to be here, British Prime Minister David Cameron, among many, many others. They're coming to Paris for security talks, but they're also expected to take part in this giant march across the city. Hollande has called on French citizens to join him in the streets tomorrow in this march of solidarity. Public transport - it's been announced that public transport will be free to anyone who wants to join them. They're expecting hundreds of thousands, if not more, people in the streets of Paris tomorrow.
SIMON: Lauren Frayer joining us today from Paris. Thanks very much for being with us.
FRAYER: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.