Paris: 12 Killed in Attack on Charlie Hebdo Newspaper

Charlie Hebdo Newspaper

Three gunmen attacked French newspaper Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, killing 12 people, including editor and cartoonist Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, after the newspaper used cartoon drawings of the Prophet. Eleven people were also wounded, including police officers, as confirmed by the deputy mayor of Paris, Bruno Julliard.

Charlie Hebdo

French president Francois Hollande arrived directly to the scene and ordered a security meeting.

Hollande said: “Today France is confronted with a shock, a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about that. Against a magazine that had been threatened repeatedly and that was being protected.”

Sources say the attackers used Kalashnikov(AK 47) automatic weapons and missile launchers in their attack in central Paris. The source added that the attackers started shouting, “We avenged the Prophet” after the attack, in addition to calls of “Allah Akbar” (God is the Greatest).

This is not the first time cartoon drawings of the prophet have brought chaos, as drawings in Denmark several years ago led to the burning of Danish embassies in Muslim countries.

It is not the first time for Charlie Hebdo either. In September 2012, the newspaper published cartoons of a naked Mohammed as violent protests were taking place in several countries over a low-budget film, titled "Innocence of Muslims," which was made in the United States and insulted the Prophet.

At the time of the shooting, one of the victims, the editor of that movie, cartoonist Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, was still living under police protection after receiving death threats.

At least one jihadist website has claimed responsibility for the shooting: the group calling itself the Islamic State, or ISIS. But according to the Daily Beast, “many jihadist groups have grievances against France because of its leadership in the war against them in Mali, its participation in the coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq, its laws imposing secularism in public offices and schools, and the ban on full-face veils, known as niqabs or burqas, on Muslim women. Al Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahari has named France many times as a prime target for retaliation on all these counts, and has deployed a special unit, the Khorasan Group, precisely to recruit European combatants in Syria and send them back to fight in the West.”

At the time of this writing, the gunmen have not been found.

Photo Credits: WBUR Boston ; The Daily Beast

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