12 people are reported to have been killed and six more injured after gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a satirical magazine.
The magazine’s editor Stephane Charbonnier (Charb), three other cartoonists (Cabu, Tignous, and Wolinski), and two police officers are amongst the dead.
Shots were heard at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a popular satirical magazine that made headlines in 2012 after publishing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The attack was carried out by men dressed in black, wearing balaclavas and carrying AK-47s, with witness reporting hearing the men shouting the Takbir “Allahu Akbar” and
“We have avenged the Prophet”
The gunmen fled after the attack and their whereabouts remains unknown.
Videos have appeared online showing the gunmen firing from the streets outside the Charlie Hebdo offices, including one graphic video that shows one of the gunmen executing a French police officer.
Paris is currently on the highest level of alert with additional police presence around media, religious, and other high profile locations.
Photographs have appeared online of what are being described as the gunmen in a face-off with police and bullet holes in a police car at the scene:
— Julien Rebucci (@julienrbcc) January 7, 2015
— Anno Bunnikأنو بونيك (@Eurabist) January 7, 2015
French President Francois Hollande has said that there is now doubt that this incident was a “terrorist attack” of “exceptional barbarity” and comes after a number of thwarted terror attacks in recent weeks.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that Britain stood with the French people:
“The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.”
The most recent tweet from the magazine’s official Twitter account was a cartoon about Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with the caption “good health and best wishes”:
Meilleurs vœux, au fait. pic.twitter.com/a2JOhqJZJM
— Charlie Hebdo (@Charlie_Hebdo_) January 7, 2015
The Charlie Hebdo offices were previously fire-bombed on 2 November 2011, with the attack linked to the magazine’s decision to rename a special edition “Charia Hebdo”, with the Islamic Prophet Mohammed listed as the “editor-in-chief”.