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Jan
07

54ad1b2a0f7b3At least 12 people were killed in a shooting at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper firebombed in the past after publishing cartoons joking about Muslim leaders, French TV channel iTELE reported.

France Info radio also said police had confirmed 10 injured. Police informed Reuters that of the 10 wounded, five were injured critically. The news channel quoted a witness as saying he saw the incident from a building nearby in the heart of the French capital.

Some of the best-known cartoonists in France were among the 12 killed when gunmen stormed the office, AFP reported a judicial source as saying.

Editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb, and the cartoonists known as Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski were among those killed.

“This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it,” President Francois Hollande told reporters after rushing to the scene of the attack.

His government raised France’s security level to the highest notch and scheduled an emergency cabinet meeting. British Prime Minister David Cameron described the attack as sickening.

US President Barack Obama condemned the “terrorist attack” and pledged US assistance.

“We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice,” he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “despicable” attack in a condolence letter to President Hollande.

“I was shocked to learn of the despicable attack on the newspaper in Paris,” the German leader wrote.

“It is also an attack on freedom of expression and the press, a key component of our free democratic culture, which cannot be justified,” she added.

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