French anti-terrorism police converged on an area northeast of Paris on Thursday (January 8) after two brothers suspected of being behind an attack on a satirical newspaper were reportedly spotted in the region.

France's prime minister said on Thursday he feared the Islamist militants who killed 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo could strike again as a manhunt for two men widened across the country.

Two police sources said that the men were seen armed and wearing cagoules in a Renault Clio car at a petrol station on a secondary road in Villers-Cotterets some 43 miles from the French capital.

An unidentified witness in his car said two men had then abandoned their car.

Amid French media reports the men had abandoned their car, Bruno Fortier, the neighbouring mayor said helicopters were circling his town and police and anti-terrorism forces were deploying en masse.