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Charlie Hebdo Attack: World Leaders React To Paris Massacre

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World leaders have condemned the attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in France, an assault by three gunmen that left 12 dead and scores injured.

The attackers stormed the newsroom in central Paris and began firing indiscriminately on Wednesday morning. Witnesses told police that the gunmen shouted "we have avenged the prophet," according to Agence France-Presse.

The assailants, who were caught on film fleeing after the attack, remain on the loose. French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said a manhunt is under way to trace the perpetrators of the raid.

Cazeneuve said "all the means" of the justice and interior ministries have been mobilised to "neutralise the three criminals who have committed this barbaric act".

Below, global leaders react to events in Paris:

British Prime Minister David Cameron: "The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press."

American President Barack Obama: "France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. 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."

Russian President Vladimir Putin: "Moscow resolutely condemns terrorism in all its forms. Nothing can justify terrorist attacks."

narendra modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi: "[A] condemnable and despicable attack in Paris. Our solidarity with [the] people of France. My thoughts are with [the] families of those who lost their lives."

canadian stephen harper
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: "I'm horrified by the barbaric attacks in France. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."

dilma rousseff
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff: "It is an unacceptable attack on press freedom, a fundamental value of democratic societies."

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker: "I am profoundly shocked by the brutal and inhumane attack on the Charlie Hebdo premises. It is an intolerable act, a barbaric act that concerns us all, as humans, and as Europeans. My thoughts go out to the victims and their families. I wish to express, both personally and on behalf of the European Commission, our greatest solidarity with France.”

matteo renzi
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi: "Violence will always lose out against freedom."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "I was shocked to learn of the despicable attack on the newspaper in Paris. I would like to express to you and your compatriots in this hour of suffering the sympathy of the German people as well my own sorrow, and convey my condolences to the victims' loved ones."

mariano rajoy
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy: "My firm condemnation of the terrorist attack in Paris. My condolences and solidarity to the French people and the victims."

dalil boubakeur
Head of the French Muslim Council Dalil Boubakeur: "We absolutely condemn such an act and we look forward to the authorities meting out justice. The [Muslim] community is dumbfounded by what has happened."

jens stoltenberg
Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg: “I strongly condemn the terrorist attack at the office of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris today. This was a barbaric act and an outrageous attack on press freedom."

mevlut cavusoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu: "Whatever is its reason or target, we are against all kinds of terror. People's freedom of belief should also be respected. It shouldn't be ridiculed or scorned. Islam is a religion of peace and it is not right to associate it with terrorism."

helle thorningschmidt
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt: "Completely defenceless and innocent people became the victims of what appears to be an attack on free speech. The French society, like ours, is open, democratic and based on a free and critical press. Those are values that are deeply rooted in all of us, and which we shall protect. "It is also those very values that make France a strong society that can withstand an attack like this."

francois hollande
French President François Hollande:"This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it. We are under threat because we are a country of freedom and because we are a country of freedom we ward off threats and will punish aggressors."


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The hostage with the Kouachi brothers who were suspects the Paris magazine massacre was "hiding in a cardboard box" according to a French journalist - and the gunmen reportedly didn't even know he was there.

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The second gunmen from the siege at a Kosher supermarket in Paris may have escaped, according to local sources.

Suspected gunman Amedy Coulibaly is reported to have been killled, but police believe from CCTV that there was a second hostage-taker in the shop who is not yet accounted for.

Hayat Boumeddiene, the woman suspected of attacking and killing a police officer in Paris yesterday with Coulibaly, is not thought to have been to in the grocery.

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At least four people, including the attacker, have died at a kosher grocery store in Paris where a gunman took several hostages, police officials said.

Police officers were thought to be among those hurt, although their conditions were unclear.

The Elysee Palace said President Francois Hollande will address the nation before 7pm.

The BBC reported that a woman who was held hostage while shopping in the store had told a relative by phone that there were more than two people killed there - in fact she had said there were five people dead.

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Hayat Boumedienne, the second suspect in the killing of the French policewoman on Thursday, has not been killed or apprehended, according to police sources and Reuters news agency.

There was no confirmation that she was at the scene at the kosher store where her partner, or ex-partner, Amédy Coulibaly, was killed as he held more than five hostages.

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Smoke rises as a special forces soldiers enter the building on an industrial estate in Dammartin en Goele

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Special Forces soldiers and armed police gather after storming the print works

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Tragic news coming out of eastern Paris, at least four hostages are dead in the grocery store, according to police sources.

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Members of the French police special forces attend to hostages and one of their colleagues lying on the ground after they launched the assault at a kosher grocery




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We still don't have any confirmation of reports that two people died at the scene of the hostage-taking earlier in eastern Paris, at the kosher grocery store. It was widely reported, but police have so far denied reports of any casualties.

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French special forces pull off what would appear to be a miracle, if all confirmed

• Brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi have been killed in police operation at print works in Dammartin

• Their one hostage is alive, an official concerns

• Hostages have been seen leaving the kosher supermarket in eastern Paris

• The hostage-taker, Amédy Coulibaly, is dead, according to local reports

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French media reports people leaving the kosher store where hostages had been taken.

There is still a considerable amount of uncertainty as to their identities, and whether any casualties were in the store.

Counter-terrorism police seem to have co-ordinated the two operations to happen simultaneously in both Paris and amongst the emergency services of all types and descriptions as they pour into Dammartin and Dammartin-en-Goele.

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AFP has reported that the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi have been killed in the police operation, with the hostage freed and safe after assault, quoting sources.

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Explosions have been heard at a supermarket where at least five people, including children, were taken captive following a shoot-out at the Hypercacher kosher store in Porte de Vincennes in the east of Paris.

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Police units and paramedics blaring sirens have headed up the main road towards Dammartin-en-Goele as the gunfire rang out and explosions could be heard.

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Gunshots and several explosions have been heard at Dammartin-en-Goele, outside Paris, where two brothers have taken a hostage in the site of a print works.

Smoke can be seen coming from building where the Charlie Hebdo attack suspects are located, reporters on the scene said.


Explosions and rapid gunfire could be heard as police moved in, and a helicopter was seen taking off from a nearby field.

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Jeannette Bougrab, partner of murdered Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb, spoke about his death on French television station BFMTV.

Bougrab, the former French Secretary for Youth and Community Life, described how she got the news that he was killed. "I was at a state meeting and I learned there had been a shooting.

"Then I sent him a text, a second text, third text, and then I phoned him and he wasn't answering, and he never did that," she said.

"When I got there, there were the cordons, and we weren't allowed to get in, and I learned there that he was dead."

"He died standing," Bougrab said. "He defended secularism, he defended Voltaire's spirit, he in fact was really the fruit of this ideal of the Republic that we've almost forgotten. He died, executed with his comrades, as he would say."

Bougrab asserted that, if she were the president of the Republic, she would give all of the slain cartoonists the honor of being buried in the Panthéon, a monument in Paris where Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are also buried.

"They died defending freedom of expression, secularism," she said of the cartoonists. "They have died so we can stay free in this country, in France in 2015."

BFMTV's Ruth Elkriefit asked if it might be a kind of victory, a sign of hope, that so many people around the world are rallying around the slogan "Je suis Charlie."

"Absolutely not, because he's dead," Bougrab replied. "It's absolutely not a victory. It's a defeat. It's a tragedy for our country and I refuse to rejoice in the idea that people are demonstrating in the streets.

"Because they have torn away the precious being who accompanied me in life."

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• Amédy Coulibaly is a Frenchman of Senegalese descent

• He is from the Juvisy -on-Orge commune in the Essonne district, 18 km south-east of Paris.

• Coulibaly is a member of the Buttes-Chaumont network, which was notorious for radicalising young Frenchmen and recruiting them to fight in Iraq during the 2000s

• He has nine sisters, according to Libération, and has a chequered police record for petty theft and drug offences

• He was imprisoned for an armed bank robbery in Orleans in 2002

L’Obs reported that he had met Chérif Kouachi, one of the brothers, between 2005 and 2006 when they were in Fleury-Mérogis prison

• Coulibaly is said to have converted and been radicalised while in prison

• Coulibaly was arrested again in 2010 for his part in a botched prison break attempt to free Algerian Islamist Smain Ali Belkacem, who choreographed the 1995 Paris terror attack

• He is believed to have been released from prison a little more than a year ago.

• Libération quotes several people who say he was a bright and happy child who began to hng around with gangs aged 17, and the paper draws on a court psychiatric report which found him not to be "pathological" but said he was immature and had psychopathic tendencies, with a very simplistic view of his own motivations, as well as a wish to be "all powerful

• This report from a French newspaper describes Coulibaly's meeting with then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009, when the suspect was 27

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The American broadcaster cites a source saying the French policewoman was not the intended target of yesterday's attack in central Paris.

She was reportedly shot close by to Coulibaly's intended target, which was a Jewish primary school. Police have not confirmed.

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This has been rumoured for some time. One hostage apparently told a relative that the gunman had demanded Charlie Hebdo attackers Said and Cherif Kouachi, holed up in an industrial estate with a hostage in a town around 25 miles north of Paris, be allowed to go free.

Paris police have now confirmed this is the demand of the hostage-taker in the kosher store, who is named as Amedy Coulibaly.

Coulibaly is believed to have close links with the Kouachis, and is the suspect in the shooting of a policewoman in Paris yesterday.

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Translation: A crisis meeting is currently taking place with President Hollande, concerning the hostage-taking in Vincennes

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  • Dan Kitwood via Getty Images
  • LOIC VENANCE via Getty Images
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • LOIC VENANCE via Getty Images
  • LOIC VENANCE via Getty Images
  • LOIC VENANCE via Getty Images
  • LOIC VENANCE via Getty Images

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It is now understood that the Kouachi brothers, who were well-known for holding jihadist views, were on a British watch and no-fly list to prevent them from entering the UK or passing through a British airport.

US intelligence placed the brothers on the list at the same time as Britain. Questions have been asked about how closely the pair were monitored by the French authorities.

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A woman has told how she received a phone call from her mother, who is being held hostage in the shop in Porte de Vincennes.

She told Europe 1: "She called me and told me 'I am in the shop, I love you'.

"I am scared. Someone told me there have been two deaths. No one has told me if it is my mother or not."

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Read more about the social media movement here.

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