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Terrorists Attack in France Killing 12

UPDATE: The youngest of the three heavily armed gunman has surrendered to authorities French police sources have said.

French media claim Hamyd Mourad, 18, handed himself in to officers. Officials have said the suspects are linked to a Yemeni terror network.

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Heavily armed men shouting 'Allahu Akbar' have stormed the Paris headquarters of a satirical weekly, killing 12 people in the worst attack in France in decades.

The assault on Charlie Hebdo headquarters in a quiet Paris neighbourhood sparked a massive man hunt as the two gunmen managed to escape, executing a wounded police officer as they fled.

The men remained on the run on Wednesday, with few clues on their whereabouts and parts of the French capital in lockdown. Prosecutors said witnesses heard the gunmen shout 'we have avenged the prophet' and 'Allahu Akbar' (God is greatest) as they carried out the attack. Police said the calm, calculated manner of the assault showed they were highly trained. Victims included four prominent cartoonists, including the chief editor, who had been holding a morning meeting when the assailants armed with Kalashnikovs burst in and opened fire, officials said. President Francois Hollande immediately rushed to the scene of what he called 'an act of exceptional barbarism' and 'undoubtedly a terrorist attack'.

Amateur video shot after the bloodbath showed two men masked and dressed head-to-toe in black military style running toward a wounded policeman as he lay on the pavement.

Two police were confirmed among the dead and four people were critically injured.

US President Barack Obama condemned the attack, while British Prime Minister David Cameron called it 'sickening'. The satirical newspaper attacked on Wednesday gained notoriety in 2006 when it reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that had originally appeared in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, causing fury across the Muslim world. Its offices were also fire-bombed in November 2011 when it published a cartoon of Mohammed under the title 'Sharia Hebdo'

Thousands have gathered in Paris holding pens in a moving demonstration of free speech. 



Crowds across France hold up pens in moving demonstrations for free speech "The pen is mightier than the sword"
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The three gunman involved in the shooting in France have been indentified by authorities; brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi - both French notionals in their early 30s and 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad whose nationality is not known to authorities at this stage.

French police started their raids on two apartments in the north-western suburbs of Paris yet no arrests were made. Police continued their search to the the 19th arrondissement of Paris and Reims.

 


AFP and staff writers

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