Jewish supermarket attacked by a jihadist gunman re-opens in Paris

People outside the supermarket today
People outside the supermarket today

The Jewish supermarket attacked by a jihadist gunman linked to the shootings at Charlie Hebdo magazine in January has re-opened in Paris.

 “We were stunned by the attack, but there was never any question that we would re-open,” said one of the managers of the Hyper Cacher store, Laurent Mimoun.

“It’s very important to be here to show that we don’t give up. It’s a symbol,” said Eric Cohen, father of supermarket worker Yohan Cohen, 20, who was murdered by the gunman Amedy Coulibaly on January 9.

Four other Jewish men were killed by Coulibaly in his attack, two days after Islamist brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi shot 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine offices — twin assaults that plunged France into crisis.

Coulibaly was already believed to have shot dead a policewoman in another part of the capital before storming into the supermarket to show support for the Kouachi brothers, who by then were surrounded in a printing business outside Paris. All three gunmen were killed later that day in near simultaneous operations by special forces.

The supermarket during the stand-off

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve attended the reopening of the shop, which has been repaired after suffering heavy damage during the assault to kill Coulibaly and free the staff and shoppers he had taken hostage.

“You can see the layout…, you see the difficulties there were in the intervention,” Cazeneuve said after visiting the scene of the drama, including the cold storage room where several hostages, including one with a baby, managed to hide from Coulibaly.

Cazeneuve bought wine and praised the “courageous” reopening of the shop, which “sends a signal that life is stronger.”

A new team of staff is working at the kosher supermarket, while employees who survived the bloody attack are free to decide “their new posting in one of the group’s stores,” the management of the chain said.

However, for now they are on long-term leave, including the young Malian immigrant Lassana