Paris: After being on the receiving end of bloodshed and terror unleashed by three gunmen in last three days, the country of France will remain on high alert for weeks to come as a massive manhunt is on to trace the lone female surviving accomplice of the terrorists.
Also, security has beefed up to its maximum level as France is set for a giant rally on Sunday, that will be held in honour of the 17 victims killed in three days across France.
France was shaken during three days of violence spree that gripped the nation as Kouachi Brothers killed 12 people at French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, a policewoman was shot in Paris by Amedy Coulibaly on Thursday, followed by Friday's hostage situation at Kosher grocery store where Coulibaly killed four before being neutralised by police.
The French police managed to kill all three gunmen - the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly – on Friday, however a female accomplice of Coulibaly, Hayat Boumeddiene, managed to escape in the chaotic aftermath of the supermarket siege.
Since then, an intensive hunt is on for Hayat Boumeddiene, who reportedly fled to Syria after 'crossing the border to Spain and flying from Madrid to Istanbul'.
The 26-year-old female is said to have been in a relationship with Coulibaly since 2010. French newspaper Le Monde published few pictures of her with coulibaly in which she is seen wearing a niqab (black dress covering her from head-to-toe), and aiming with a gun at the camera.
Meanwhile, France has been turned into a fortress with increased security throughout the nation as almost a million people are supposed to attend the mammoth Sunday rally to honour the terror victims. The rally will also see dozens of leaders from across the world in attendance.
Besides French President Francois Hollande, dignitaries from Britain, Germany, NATO, Arab League, Israel and Palestine too, are expected at the grand march that will depart from Paris's Place de la Republique at 3 pm local time.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, EU parliament president Martin Schulz, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, are few of the names that will attend the giant rally.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has assured of all essential security measures in place for the crucial event involving so many dignitaries and almost a million people
Some 700,000 people attended rallies across France on Saturday to pay tribute to 12 Charlie Hebdo attack victims, a policewoman shot in Paris and four others killed during a supermarket siege.According to reports, more than 5000 police forces along with snipers on roof tops have been deployed to ensure the security at key areas like schools, places of worships, etc across France.
The commando-style attack perpetrated on Charlie Hebdo's office by Kouachi brothers was claimed by Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). It was first reported by SITE Intelligence group, which quoted a sharia official of AQAP as threatening France with more operations if it does not stop "fighting" Islam and its symbols, and Muslims.
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) January 9, 2015
In another tweet, the SITE Intel group suggested that another gunman who staged the siege at Kosher supermarket in France, had pledged obeisance to Islamic State Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
An IS-linked jihadist claimed that Amedy Coulibaly pledged to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a video.
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) January 10, 2015
That Coulibaly was an IS supporter, was also confirmed from another report that said how he tried to justify the killings to the hostages before being killed by the cops. According to a CNN report, the French RTL Radio said that it called up the supermarket on the day of siege. The phone was reportedly picked up by Coulibaly and hung, but the line remained open and the radio station heard all the conversation going on between the gunman and the hostages.
According to the radio station, Coulibaly started by saying that had France not attacked Muslims in the Middle East and Mali, he would not have born in France. He also threatened the West to stop attacking the ISIS.