12 dead, shooters on the run, after ‘terror’ attack at Paris newspaper
A French police official says 12 people are dead in a shooting at a satirical weekly newspaper in central Paris and the attackers are still at large.
Four more people are in critical condition and an additional 20 have been injured, police said.
Two of the dead are police officers. French media reported the weekly’s chief editor and other staff were among the dead.
Paris has been put on the highest state of alert for a terrorist attack.
“France is in a state of shock,” French President Francois Hollande said at the scene of Wednesday’s shooting at Charlie Hebdo.
“Journalists and police were killed,” Holland said.
Hollande called it “a terrorist attack, there is no doubt. We must show we are a country united.”
The French newspaper Le Figaro reported the satirical cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier and two others cartoonists were dead.
The French newspaper Le Monde also quoted several police sources as saying Charbonnier, who is also direction of publication, and cartoonist Riss were among the dead.
A few minutes before the shooting, Charlie Hebdo’s Twitter account published a Charbonnier cartoon that said, “Best wishes, to al-Baghdadi also,” a reference to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who is called the leader of the violent terrorist group Islamic State.
Charlie Hebdo’s cover this week is on Submission, a book by Michel Houellebecq released Wednesday, which is sparking controversy with its depiction of a fictional France of the future led by an Islamic party and a Muslim president who bans women from the workplace.
The attackers are on the run, Holland said. He said all potential terrorist targets have been put under the highest protection, adding that several possible attacks have been foiled in recent weeks.
From Washington, London, Brussels and Rome, leaders condemned the attack.
Most of the victims were part of the magazine’s newsroom, Matthieu Lamarre, a spokesman for the Paris Mayor’s office, said.
The solidarity slogan “Je suis Charlie” was quickly trending on Twitter.
The satirical weekly has drawn repeated threats for its caricatures of the Prophett Mohammed, among other controversial sketches. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)