PARIS–At least 12 people were killed in a shooting at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper firebombed in the past after publishing cartoons joking about Muslim leaders, French TV channel iTELE reported.
France Info radio also said police had confirmed 10 injured. Police informed Reuters that of the 10 wounded, five were injured critically. The news channel quoted a witness as saying he saw the incident from a building nearby in the heart of the French capital.
Some of the best-known cartoonists in France were among the 12 killed when gunmen stormed the office, AFP reported a judicial source as saying.
Editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb, and the cartoonists known as Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski were among those killed.
“This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it,” President Francois Hollande told reporters after rushing to the scene of the attack.
His government raised France’s security level to the highest notch and scheduled an emergency cabinet meeting. British Prime Minister David Cameron described the attack as sickening.
The United States said it condemned the attack in the “strongest possible terms.”
“Senior officials at the White House have been in close touch with their counterparts in France this morning,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
“The United States stand ready to work closely with the French” to help them probe the attack,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “despicable” attack in a condolence letter to President Hollande.
“I was shocked to learn of the despicable attack on the newspaper in Paris,” the German leader wrote.
“It is also an attack on freedom of expression and the press, a key component of our free democratic culture, which cannot be justified,” she added.
The Telegraph quoted a broadcast journalist with Europe1 News as saying, “Several men in black cagoules were heard to shout ‘the Prophet has been avenged’.”
The Guardian in it its live updates has quoted its reporter as saying: “The journalist Martin Boudot, from the Premières Lignes agency, has posted this video from the roof of a building situated close to the Charlie Hebdo building. we can hear gunshots and voices who cry ‘Allahu akbar’.”
In the distance we can see at least two people who appear to be fleeing.
“About a half an hour ago two black-hooded men entered the building with Kalashnikovs (guns),” Benoit Bringer told the station. “A few minutes later we heard lots of shots,” he said, adding that the men were then seen fleeing the building.
A police official, Luc Poignant, said he was aware of one journalist dead and several injured, including three police officers.
“It’s carnage,” Poignant told BFM TV.
A firebomb attack gutted the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in November 2011 after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on its cover.
Dec 16, 2017 0
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily