Eyewitnesses claim masked gunmen carrying automatic rifles opened fire at office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine; French President Francois Hollande says perpetrators will be hunted down and brought to justice
Paris: Two masked gunmen suspected to be Islamists massacred 12 people after storming French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s office, including the cartoonist who drew a controversial cartoon of Pro phet Mohammed.
Medics evacuate a victim on a stretcher who was hurt in the brazen attack executed by masked gunmen on Charlie Hebdo yesterday
Local media said that illustrator and editor-in-chief Stéphane Charbonnier aka Charb and three cartoonists — Jean Cabut aka Cabu, Bernard Velhac aka Tignous and Georges Wolinski — were among the fatalities. Two policemen were also killed. The identity of the others who died was not immediately known.
The France edition of The Local news portal quoted the gunmen as shouting in Arabic: ‘We have avenged the Prophet!’ and ‘God is Great!’
The armed gunmen face police officers near Charlie Hebdo office. Pic/AFP
“It was carnage,” said a despondent Jean-Paul Huchon, a French provincial official. No terrorist group has claimed the responsibility for the attack so far.
The attackers made a well-prepared getaway in a car after shooting in the office for several minutes. Video clips of the street outside showed two hooded men sprinting on a pavement, firing at a seemingly wounded policeman sprawled on the ground before getting into a black car.
“Without doubt, it’s a terrorist attack against an office that has been threatened several times, which is why it was protected,” French President Francois Hollande said after visiting the shooting scene. “They (the perpetrators) will be hunted down and brought to justice.”
A man reads the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo
France, the target of Islamist fighters in reprisal for its military strikes against Islamist strongholds in Iraq and the Sahel region, has aborted several terror attacks in recent weeks, Hollande said. An emergency government meeting was due in the Elysee to evaluate the situation and take the adequate measures to avoid further attacks.
File pictures of cartoonist Jean Cabut aka Cabu, cartoonist Bernard Velhac aka Tignous, cartoonist Georges Wolinski and Charlie Hebdo’s publisher Stéphane Charbonnier aka Charb who were four of the 12 who lost their lives in the dastardly attack. Pics/AFP
Eyewitnesses claimed that a number of hooded men were involved in the horrific attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo. A journalist said that he saw several masked armed men fire at the office building using automatic rifles.
Other eyewitness claimed that the attackers escaped in a couple of vehicles.
The magazine’s latest tweet — just an hour before the attack — was a cartoon of the IS militant leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The magazine was firebombed in November 2011, a day after it carried a caricature of Prophet Mohammed
@RashtrapatiBhvn: Strongly condemn the terrorist attack on media office in Paris; terror & violence have no place in any corner of world #PresidentMukherjee
@narendramodi: Condemnable & despicable attack in Paris. Our solidarity with people of France. My thoughts are with families of those who lost their lives.
@arunjaitley: Paris shooting incident is an ugly attack on humanity. Its a wake up call for international community to unite against terrorism
@David_Cameron: The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.
@ArvindKejriwal: Paris massacre is a barbaric assault against all free societies. Our solidarity with the French. Together we'll combat d menace of terrorism
@PritishNandy: The Paris terror attack is really despicable. When Kalashnikovs are used to silence satire, you know the world is going off its axis.
@virsanghvi: Satirists, cartoonists and critics do not damage Islam. Fanatics, terrorists and murderers do.