“Paris, France – Three masked gunmen shouting Islamic phrases stormed the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo Wednesday, killing 12 people, including four cartoonists whose work included controversial drawings of the prophet Mohammed, as well as the editorial director.
“Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters that the gunmen, wearing hoods and armed with Kalashnikov automatic rifles, killed a receptionist to gain entrance to the offices in central Paris, then opened fire on a second-floor editorial meeting, killing 10 people, including eight journalists. During their getaway, a police officer was also killed.
“Molins said the attackers shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) and “the prophet is avenged,” before fleeing in a stolen black Citroen, exchanging gunfire at least twice with police outside.
“The dead included Stephane Charbonnier, the weekly newspaper’s editorial director known as Charb, spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre of the Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed.
“Two officers were among those killed, include one who had been assigned as Charb’s bodyguard after prior death threats against him, a police official told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
“The second officer was shot execution style on the sidewalk. Dramatic video taken from a second floor balcony shows two gunmen opening fire on the officer who collapses on the sidewalk. As they move toward him, the officer, appearing to raise his hand, is shot and killed at point-blank range.
In addition to the leading world officials expressing their condolences and support to the French people, the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu also offered his support to the French President Francois Hollande, but added that “the people of France need to understand that the only way to stop these kinds of terrorist attacks in the future is to accept the ‘two states’ idea”, which France has on numerous occasions proposed to Israeli officials.
Netanyahu said: “my prayers are with the French people and the families of those who have suffered a personal loss, but it’s about time that the French government realized that the only way out of this situation is to listen to itself, quite literally.”