By Euro Weekly News Media • 07 January 2015 • 13:04
UPDATED: THE death toll in a gun attack on a Paris based satirical magazine has reached 12.
Two masked gun men are being hunted after the attack.
They were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and a rocket propelled grenade when they entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo and opened fire. It is believed the editor and a cartoonist – asked for by name by the gunmen – are amongst the dead.
The two gunmen escaped by car after a street shootout with police.
Two officers are thought to be amongst the dead, and another five people have been critically injured. Video footage of one of the gunmen approaching a wounded officer and shooting him in the head has since emerged.
Reports say that the first police to arrive on the scene were three officers on pushbikes who were forced to retreat when they realised they were heavily outgunned.
After a shootout the attackers fled by car, which they are believed to have now changed. As they escaped they wounded another policeman and a passer-by.
Suspicions have fallen on Islamist extremists as Charlie Hebdo has previously been attacked over its portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed.
French President Francois Hollande visited the scene amid heavy security. He said that the security level in Paris had been raised as the search for the gunmen went on.
He pledged to be strong and vowed to punish the attackers. Hollande also promised to protect freedom of the press in a tweet: “No barbaric act will ever extinguish the freedom of the press. We are a united country that will react.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also took to Twitter to condemn the attack and pledge Spain’s solidarity with France in the face of the outrage.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a tweet: “The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.”
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