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Shoppers return to the scene of Paris supermarket attack

The interior minister gave the shop two bottles of wine to celebrate its reopening.

France Attacks Courage Carnage File photo of police officers as they storm the supermarket. Francois Mori / AP/Press Association Image Francois Mori / AP/Press Association Image / AP/Press Association Image

THE JEWISH SUPERMARKET in Paris attacked by a jihadist gunman linked to the shootings at Charlie Hebdo magazine in January has re-opened, with the French interior minister buying two bottles of wine to demonstrate his support.

“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.

France Hyper Cacher Reopening Customers chat in front of the Hyper Cacher. Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

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.

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.

France Hyper Cacher Reopening Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

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 Bathily, who was granted French citizenship as a reward for his bravery during the assault.

© – AFP 2015

Read: Muslims form ‘human shield’ around Oslo synagogue >

As it happened: Charlie Hebdo suspects dead and four hostages killed in Jewish store >

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