We just hope the French aren’t consumed with an Islamophobic backlash against this mostly peaceful religion.
Eleven people have been shot dead at the headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, say police.
Two masked gunmen are reported to have stormed the offices of the controversial publication, which has previously been attacked over its portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed.
They are believed to have been armed with Kalashnikov rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade.
A manhunt is under way for the killers, who escaped after a shootout in the street with police.
A dramatic photograph has been published in Le Monde newspaper of two gunmen dressed in black, standing either side of vehicle, apparently pointing their weapons at a police car.
The dead are believed to include two police officers. Four people have also been critically injured.
Ambulances are at the scene.
According to reports, three officers had initially arrived on pushbikes, but left when they realised how heavily-armed the raiders were.
The media is too pussified to even mention who the attackers were, as if we all didn’t know.
“When they saw how armed these men were they left and then there was a kind of gunfight in the street.”
He added: “Then the gunmen escaped and are currently on the run, being pursued. They moved towards the east of Paris. While fleeing they wounded a policeman and a passer-by was also hit.
“They’ve changed cars. They were in a black (Citroen) DS, now they’ve taken somebody else’s vehicle.”
French President Francois Hollande is now at the scene amid heavy security.
He said the security level in Paris had been raised, and the gunmen were being hunted.
“We have to be firm, we have to be strong,” he said.
“We will punish the attackers.”
He added: “France is in shock. We are a united country.”
We’ll probably see a lot of finger-wagging at those who dared to print cartoons and laugh at these savages.
By midday, there were reports of up to 11 people dead and 10 wounded, four critically, including journalists, administrative staff, and police officers who attended the scene.
Pierre de Cossette, a broadcast journalist with Europe1 News, said: ‘Several men in black cagoules were heard to shout “the Prophet has been avenged“.’
Magazine Charlie Hebdo has become a byword for offensive statements in France after taking several highly provocative swipes at Islam.
The magazine once named Prophet Mohammed as its guest editor, published cartoons of the holy figure in the nude, and once renamed itself Sharia Hebdo with the cover slogan ‘100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter’.
The controversy began in 2006 when the publication reprinted now-infamous cartoons of Prophet Mohammed by Danish artist Kurt Westergaard.
When the images originally appeared they lead to days of protests across the Middle East and in Western cities. The decision to reprint the images landed the then-editor in court under anti-terror laws, though he was later acquitted.
The Hebdo offices were burned to the ground in 2011 when attackers used Molotov cocktails to start a blaze early in the morning of November 2.
There was nobody in the building at the time, and the target was instead thought to be the magazine’s computer system, which was completely destroyed.
Riot police were forced to stand guard outside the building for days following the attack, as the editors took a defiant stance, choosing to reprint the cartoon images multiple times.
In 2012 they again printed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as a deliberately provocative gesture while violent protests were taking place across the Middle East.
They should keep printing them. Screw these maniacs.
Update: Now reportedly 12 dead.