LiveAs it happened: Charlie Hebdo attack

Summary

  1. Gunmen have attacked the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 people including the editor and celebrated cartoonists
  2. The hunt is on for three suspects, named by police as Hamyd Mourad and brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi.
  3. It is the deadliest terror attack in France since 1961 during the Algerian war
  4. President Hollande said it was an act of "extreme barbarity", with many foreign leaders also condemning the attack
  5. In 2011, the satirical publication was firebombed after naming the Prophet Muhammad as its "editor-in-chief"

Live Reporting

By Mohamed Madi, Sherie Ryder, Julia Macfarlane, Alastair Beach and Victoria Park

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We're bringing to an end our live text coverage of a gun attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which left 12 people dead. French police are still hunting for two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, in connection with the attack, after another suspect reportedly handed himself in. We'll continue to bring you updates on our main story page. Thanks for following the story on BBC News.

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Neelabh Banerjee
Cartoonists unite

Neelabh Banerjee Horrible attack. Cartoonists across the world are uniting against bloodshed and violence.

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Joey Tranchina
Vigil held in Sète, France

Joey Tranchina sent in this photo of the vigil held in Sète, France.

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Hamed Saeedi: In my Islamic upbringing I was taught that the pen is man's strongest weapon. These extremists must know that they can never silence freedom of speech, for it is a stronger weapon than any they'd dare to carry. Why couldn't they answer peacefully through the pen as our prophet likely would have? True Islam condemns such attacks, more so when they are ignorantly and violently carried out in its name. Long live freedom of expression, religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

We've put together a selection of eyewitness accounts from those who were present during the attack in Central Paris on Wednesday. One of the magazine's illustrators, Corinne Rey, said two armed, masked men "brutally threatened" her in order to gain access to the building. The gunmen "spoke perfect French" and claimed to belong to al-Qaeda, according to Ms Rey.

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Reuters

Police officers stand guard outside a flat in Reims as investigators search inside.

FRENCH POLICE

French police have released these photos of the two brothers wanted in connection with the attacks. Cherif Kouachi (l) is 32, and his brother Said is 34.

French police have issued arrest warrants for brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, AFP says. They have appealed to the public for information but warned that the men were "likely armed and dangerous".

A hashtag called #MouradHamydInnocent is trending in France, reportedly started by classmates of 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad who say they were in class with him at the time of the attack.

Sources tell AFP that 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad surrendered to police at 23:00 local time on Wednesday "after seeing his name circulating on social media". "He has been arrested and taken into custody," another source told the agency.

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Nihaad Hosany: It's so awful. Because of three idiots, three terrorists, the Muslim community will suffer again. Islam is a religion of peace and understanding. Not this monstrosity. It's really awful that people are capable of such acts. My deepest sympathies to the families.

Hamyd Mourad, the youngest of the three suspects. has surrendered to police, sources tell AFP.

Reuters

Rallies condemning the attack are taking place across the world, including this one in Quebec, Canada.

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Mehboob Mirza: It is a sad & tragic day. RIP. What is more insulting to the Prophet (peace be upon him) than satirical cartoons are those who murder innocent people in his name.

Hugo Clement

France 2 TV reporter

has tweeted this picture of police searching a flat in Reims, where an anti-terror raid is taking place.

@hugoclement

BreakingBreaking News

Police say the three suspects they are pursuing in connection with the attack are Hamyd Mourad and brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi.

Cartoonists respond

@BBCTrending have put together a gallery of cartoonist's responses to the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Satish Acharya

One minute silence in Nice

Alice Patalacci

Nice

tweets: "One minute of silence for #CharlieHabdo in Place Garibaldi in Nice"

ALICE PATALACCI

French government boosts security in the capital.

French soldiers disembark at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, as part of a deployment of soldiers to enhance security in Paris.

AP

Picture from the scene of reported raid in Reims

Charles-Henry Boudet

France 3 TV journalist

is in Reims where a police anti-terror raid is taking place and has tweeted this picture from the scene:

@MisterCHCH

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Meryl Cumins: Commiserations to the injured and the families of the dead. Fraternity, Equality and most of all, Liberty. Where freedom of speech is an alien concept there can be only tyranny.

More details on the reported raid in Reims

AFP has more details from that police raid reportedly taking place in Reims in north-eastern France. A member of France's elite anti-terror unit has called on journalists at the scene to remain "vigilant", warning that there would "a showdown" or that the suspects could escape, the agency says.

Charlie Hebdo dominates US and European press as well

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Damian Grammaticas

BBC News

tweets: Multiple reports of police raids in Reims as police search for #CharlieHebdo suspects, 1 of 3 identified is from Reims

BreakingBreaking News

Police say an anti-terror raid is under way in the north-eastern city of Reims, according to the AFP news agency.

Charlie Hebdo attack dominates UK front pages

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Tensions 'sharp' in France

BBC correspondent Fergal Keane reports that tensions over the role of Islam have "sharpened" in France over recent years.

He adds: "Along with that there is resentment over French policy in the Arab world which has radicalised many youth."

'France has never seen terror like this'

The BBC's Hugh Schofield has written about how the attack on Charlie Hebdo will be felt in France.

He says today "will remain engraved in the national memory."

BBC

Reaction from Denmark

In response to Wednesday's attack, at least three Danish newspapers are planning to print copies of cartoons from Charlie Hebdo, according to the BBC's Malcolm Brabant in Copenhagen.

But none of the Copenhagen press are planning to reprint the 12 Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that ignited anger in some areas of the Muslim world seven years ago. Yet security has been tightened at all of the country's media outlets as a result of the massacre.

The editor of the tabloid BT said he would be running with Charlie Hebdo's most controversial cover - one that showed a weeping Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists, lamenting that it was hard being loved by idiots.

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BBC News website reader: My heart bleeds and I'm shaken to the core by what happened to fellow journalists that only did their job (and did it well).

Attack was 'well executed'

Former CIA counter-terrorism analyst Aki Peritz tells BBC World News that that the attacks appear to have been "very professional, well thought out, well researched and well executed".

He says it is significant that apart from the police, the only other targets were journalists and nobody else inside the Charlie Hebdo office was killed.

French newspaper changes name

The Paris Normandie newspaper has expressed its solidarity with those killed in today's attack, publishing a front page which alters the name of the publication in honour of Charlie Hebdo.

PAris normandie

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Roger Collinge: As an ordinary citizen lucky enough to live in a country with free speech I join my name in support of this magazine and all who work for it with deepest sympathy to those who have suffered from this horror. Freedom of speech means what it says. It includes the right to be scurrilous and silly but it must remain. Those who oppose freedom of speech must be defeated.

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Joachim: My thoughts are with Paris tonight. My pen will be firmly in the air.

Analysis from the BBC's Frank Gardner

The BBC's Security Correspondent Frank Gardner says that the Charlie Hebdo attack did not come out of the blue. It comes after a string of recent attacks, albeit less high-profile and resulting in fewer casualties.

BBC

More details on the suspects

Reuters is reporting more details on the three suspects being sought by French police. Officers are looking for two brothers in the Paris region and another man in the north-eastern city of Reims, according to the news agency. It quotes a government source as saying the two brothers are 32 and 34 years of age and the third suspect is 18 years old.

French media say police have identified the three gunmen

Le Monde reports that police sources have said that the three gunmen have been identified.

Struggle with Islamism

Caroline Wyatt, BBC Religious affairs correspondent has just posted this:

The killings at Charlie Hebdo are a deeply unwelcome reminder to the west that for some, mainly young radicalised men, their fundamentalist interpretation of their religion matters enough to kill those who offend it.

As a result, across western Europe, liberally-minded societies are beginning to divide over how best to deal with radical Islamism and its impact on their countries, while governments agonise over the potential for a backlash against Muslims living in Europe.

Today, mainstream Muslim organisations in the UK and France have unequivocally condemned the killings, saying that terrorism is an affront to Islam.

But the potential backlash, including support for far right parties and groups, may well hurt ordinary Muslims more than anyone else, leaving the authorities and religious leaders in western Europe wondering how to confront violence in the name of religion without victimizing minorities or being accused of "Islamophobia".

Caroline Wyatt's full piece can be read here:

How long will unity last?

The BBC's Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield says that France has just lived through "one of those days which remain engraved in the national memory".

He adds: "Today everyone can share in the common defence of French values...But how long this unity will last is another question.

"Soon there will be the discordant voices. On the one hand there will be those saying the real lesson of the attack is that France should drop its 'naivety' concerning Islamism in the banlieues.

"On the other side there will be those warning against what the French call l'amalgame - i.e. lumping all Muslims together and claiming that the problem resides somewhere with their religion."

Londoners sing French national anthem

Reuters

People attending a rally in Trafalgar Square, central London, have been singing La Marseillaise, France's national anthem.

People in Paris hold up their pens in protest

Sruthi Gottipati

Journalist Sruthi Gottipati took this photo in Paris, France.

Eric Albert, French journalist

Eric Albert tells the BBC News Channel he fears what will happen over the coming days in France due to what he calls the "malaise" afflicting society.

"There will be unity for a while because of the horror and shock," he said. "What's going to happen after that?"

President Francois Hollande speaking:

President Hollande, in a brief address, said that "nothing can divide us, nothing can separate us".

He added: "We will win. Nothing will make us renounce our determination. Long live the republic. Long live France."

Reuters

National day of mourning

President Francois Hollande is making a televised address to the nation. He has announced a national day of mourning on Thursday.

Rallies across Europe

Rallies have been taking place across Europe in support of Charlie Hebdo. From top, a protester in Lausanne, Switzerland; the European Parliament in Brussels; Trafalgar Square in central London; a rally outside the French embassy in Madrid.

EPA
Reuters
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AFP holds minute silence for Charlie Hebdo

Agence France Presse tweets pictures from inside their newsroom in Paris, where journalists held a minute's silence holding "Je Suis Charlie" posters:

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AFP
AFP

Google's black ribbon

Google France has added a black ribbon to its homepage following today's attacks.

Google

Attack did 'not come out of blue'

BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner notes that the attack has not come out of the blue. The journalists behind Charlie Hebdo had plenty of enemies, he says, and its decision to publish a string of cartoons deemed offensive by some Muslims had made it a target for Islamist extremists.

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Orlando: Over a thousand people have said they will be in Trafalgar Square from 6pm this evening. I think it could be a lot more as not everyone has had time to log into FB. I'll be there with 4 friends.

UN Security Council condemns attack

The United Nations Security Council has joined the chorus of condemnation, calling the attack "barbaric and cowardly".

The Globe and Mail's Mark MacKinnon took this picture at the Place de la Republique in Paris, where crowds are gathering to express solidarity with the magazine:

Mark MacKinnon

Steve Bell, Guardian cartoonist

BBC

Steve Bell tells BBC News channel: "We've got to stand up for the right to take the piss out of these monsters, these idiots, these fools, these posturing maniacs who strut around in their black gear as a kind of death cult trying to frighten us all."

French papers carry black banners

Websites of major French dailies, including Liberation, Le Monde, and Le Figaro, carry black banners expressing solidarity with Charlie Hebdo by using the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag which is trending on Twitter.

Le Monde

French prosecutor seeks arrests 'as soon as possible'

Prosecutor Francois Molins declines to give details of the investigation:

"The idea is to keep confidentiality and make sure this inquiry is successful, so we have to try to arrest the individuals that committed these murders as soon as possible."

AFP

Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations

@AmbassadorPower

tweets: Terrorist attack on #CharlieHebdo is despicable assault on our societies/values. Deepest sympathies w/ victims' loved ones & French ppl.

Mark MacKinnon, Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper

tweets: "Hardest thing to find in Paris tonight is a copy of #CharlieHebdo. Sold out at every newsstand I've visited."

Charlie Hebdo website says "Je Suis Charlie" in multiple languages

The Charlie Hebdo website has published a pdf file translating the solidarity message "Je suis Charlie" into several languages, including Arabic.

Charlie Hebdo

#CharlieHebdo demonstration in Nice

Robin Jouan

@Robin ANEMF took this photo of a demonstration in Nice, France.

Large crowds in Place de la Republique

Large crowds are gathering in Place de Republique in central Paris following the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine's office.

AFP