12 CONFIRMED DEAD IN Paris terror attack: what we know so far
• Two gunmen entered the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and opened fire. Witnesses reported seeing hooded men shouting “Allahu Akbar” carrying pump-action Kalashnikovs going into the magazine’s offices and then hearing heavy gunfire. Police said three attackers were involved, including one who drove a car to the scene.
• So far, 12 people have been confirmed dead – 10 Charlie Hebdo staff and two police officers. Video footage showed one of the officers being shot at close range as he lay injured on the street. Five others are seriously wounded. Police described a scene of “butchery” inside Charlie Hebdo’s offices.
• The attackers are still at large after fleeing the magazine’s offices in a side street off the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir in a car. They abandoned the car in the 19th arrondissement, near the Porte de Pantin metro station, where they hijacked another car, ordering the motorist out. The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said all measures were being taken “to neutralise these three criminals”.
• Four of the Charlie Hebdo journalists killed in the attack have been named. They are the magazine’s editor and cartoonist, Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb; and three other cartoonists: Cabu, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous. Writer and economist Bernard Maris, who contributed to Charlie Hebdo, was also reportedly killed.
• Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief, Gérard Biard, escaped the attack because he was in London. He expressed his shock and said the magazine had had no specific threats of violence. “A newspaper is not a weapon of war,” he said.
• The terror alert in Paris has been raised to its highest level. Children have been evacuated from schools in 11th arrondissement, where the attack occurred, while police have been deployed to guard newspaper offices, shopping centres, museums and railway stations.
• The French president, François Hollande, said the country was in shock following what he said was a terrorist attack. He called for national unity and pledged punishment against the attackers.
• Charlie Hebdo has been the subject of violent attacks in the past, following its publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Its offices were firebombed in 2011, and recent threats have also been made against it and other media groups. Riot police were deployed to its offices in 2012 after it published more Muhammad cartoons, including images of him naked.
• The attack has prompted swift and widespread international condemnation. Unesco’s director general, Irina Bokova, said it was “shocking attack on the freedom of expression”. The White House condemned the attack in the “strongest possible terms”. The president of the EU commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said he was “deeply shocked”.