At least 12 people have been shot dead in a terrorist attack on the offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, in the worst such attack in France in at least 40 years
Paris: Twelve people were killed on Wednesday when masked gunmen opened fire after storming the Paris office of a French satirical magazine that has courted controversy in the past over its portrayal of Prophet Mohammed.
French President Francois Hollande called the slayings a terrorist attack and said that several other terror attacks have been thwarted "in recent weeks."
News channels quoted witnesses as saying that a number of hooded men with Kalashnikovs were involved in the horrific attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo which also left 10 others badly wounded.
Armed gunmen face police officers near the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday during an attack on the offices of the newspaper which left eleven dead, including two police officers, according to sources close to the investigation. Pic/AFP
A police official spoke of a scene of "carnage" at the scene.
A broadcast journalist with Europe1 News said the attackers were heard shouting "the Prophet has been avenged" before they fled.
Hollande rushed to the scene and top government officials planned an emergency meeting.
The Charlie Hebdo offices were the target of a firebomb attack in November, 2011, which occurred soon after the newspaper published a controversial image of the Prophet Mohamed on its cover.
A police official, Luc Poignant, said he was aware of one journalist dead and several injured, including three police officers. Poignant said the attackers escaped in two vehicles.
The satirical weekly has courted controversy in the past with its take on news and current affairs.
Its latest tweet was a cartoon of the Islamic State militant group leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.