Twelve people were killed Wednesday when masked gunmen armed with AK-47s opened fire at the offices of a French satire news magazine, Charlie Hebdo.
The country of France stood in shock and horror as President François Hollande addressed his people. Hollande stated, “Nothing can divide us, nothing can separate us…we will win. Nothing will make us renounce our determination. Long live the republic. Long live France.”
The satire magazine is known for creating controversial cartoons that poke fun at all religions but many Muslims’ have had enough of the torment and decided to take matters into their own hands. Members of the Islamic community are outraged and deeply offended by the drawings printed by the publication.
The motive for this attack is still unclear but many believe that the incident may have spawned out of the 2011 decision to print weekly drawings of Muslim Prophet Muhammad. In an angered response, Muslim Jihadist burned down the Charlie Hebdo Headquarters.
Photo courtesy of BBC News
At least two suspects are still at large; authorities believe that the attackers are Islamist militants. Prosecutors said the two gunmen arrived at the building at 11:30 AM Paris time, killing a receptionist before heading to the third-floor offices of the magazine where they shot dead eight journalists including the Editor-In-Chief, a guest and a police officer who had been assigned to protect workers. Four people were also critically injured.
Witnesses on the scene said they heard the men yelling, “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great” as well as “avenged the Prophet Muhammad” as they executed their attack. The gunmen then got into a black vehicle to escape. They went to a nearby Paris suburb where they abandoned their car and jumped into another. The manhunt is now underway for the terrorist clan.
Photo courtesy of BBC News.
World leaders including President Obama weighed in on the tragedy by issuing a statement to the public, “I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time. France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world. Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended. France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my Administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.”
“No barbaric act will ever extinguish the freedom of the press,” the French president said in a tweet. “We are a united country.” And the world is united with this country as hundreds of thousands of people express their solidarity with the Twitter hashtag, #Jesuischarlie — “I am Charlie”.