In what French President Francois Hollande has labeled a terrorist attack, gunmen stormed the offices of a satirical magazine, killing at least 12 people (including two police officers) in Paris on Wednesday.
The attack is the worst militant attack on French soil in decades.
The paper, Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly), was known for ridiculing radical Islam, according to Reuters. In a video captured at the scene, one of the gunmen can be heard shouting “Allah!” before firing his weapon.
Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly) is well known for courting controversy with satirical attacks on political and religious leaders and has published numerous cartoons ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad. The last tweet on its account mocked Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the militant Islamic State, which has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
In another video from the scene, the men are heard shouting, “We have killed Charlie Hebdo. We have avenged the Prophet Mohammad.” President Hollande told the public that the attack was no doubt of terroristic nature.
“An act of indescribable barbarity has just been committed today in Paris,” he said. “Measures have been taken to find those responsible, they will be hunted for as long as it takes to catch them and bring them to justice.”
“There is a possibility of other attacks and other sites are being secured,” Police union official Rocco Contento said.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest did not acknowledge who was responsible for the attack, but did say that the people of France have been allies of the United States in the fight against rebel group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“But I can tell you that we have worked closely with the French in this effort to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL,” he said, referring to another acronym identifying Islamic state, which embraces a radical and violent interpretation of Islam.
President Obama released this statement following the tragic incident:
Twenty others were injured in the attack. Four people were critically wounded. Ten members of the newspaper staff were killed, including co-founder Jean “Cabu” Cabut, and editor-in-chief Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier.
An investigation continues.
SOURCE: Reuters | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.