Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Masked Gunmen Have Opened Fire In French Satirical Magazine Offices, Killing 12

The Debrief: Horrific scenes in Paris as gunmen open fire in the offices of Charlie Hebdo...

Reports are coming in that gunmen with Kalashnikovs attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo – a celebrated satirical Private Eye-esque magazine based in Paris – and have killed 12 people and seriously injured five. 

At midday today, the masked attackers walked into the offices in the east of the city, chanting, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ (‘God is great,’ in Arabic) and shot members of staff at the magazine before leaving; outside, they shot two police officers then fled in a stolen getaway car, reports The Guardian. Ten journalists and two police have been confirmed dead, including the cartoonist Charb, who enraged many in the Islamic community and was put on Al Qaeda’s Most Wanted List in 2013 for producing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. It is part of the Islam belief that Mohammed should not be depicted.

Today’s attackers are still at large and Preisdent Francois Hollande has called it a terrorist act. Paris’s terrorism threat level has been raised to its highest setting. 

One hour before the attacks, the magazine tweeted the following, which serves as good example of the sort of politically-charged content they’ve been known for:

(translation: ‘To your health!’ and, ‘We wish you well’)

In 2011, the magazine was firebombed just before it printed cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed – and, despite the attacks being widely condemned, they were also criticised by TIME for ‘baiting extremists’. Following the firebomb, Charlie Hebdo ran a new front page which read, ‘L’Amour plus fort que la haine,’ (‘Love is stronger than hate’) showing a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist kissing a Muslim man in front of the destruction caused by the bomb attack. Then less than a year later, it ran a front cover image of the prophet Mohammed in a wheelchair, naked and being pushed by a Jewish man.

There are now videos circulating of the shootings, which are being condemned as terrorist propaganda. To keep up to date with the story, the best Twitter accounts to follow are Kim Willsher of The Guardian, Jon Snow or follow The Guardian’s live feed.

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Tags: FFS News, France