(Reuters) – Hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a weekly satirical magazine known for lampooning radical Islam, killing at least 12 people, including two police officers in the worst militant attack on French soil in recent decades.
One of the men was captured on video shouting “Allah!” as four shots rang out. Two assailants were then seen calmly leaving the scene.
A police union official said the assailants remained at liberty and there were fears of further attacks.
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.
President Francois Hollande rushed to the scene.
“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.”
A short amateur video broadcast by French television stations shows two hooded men outside the building. One of them sees a wounded policeman lying on the ground and strides over to him to shoot him dead at point-blank range. The two then walk over to a black saloon car and drive off.
In another clip on Television station iTELE, they are heard shouting: “We have killed Charlie Hebdo. We have avenged the Prophet Mohammad.”
A police official said the gunmen fled towards the eastern Paris suburbs after holding up a car.
“There is a possibility of other attacks and other sites are being secured,” Police union official Rocco Contento said.
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