PARIS, January 7 (Sputnik) — French President Francois Hollande has said that the shooting in central Paris editorial office of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, where at least 12 people have been killed, is a terrorist attack.
“This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it," Reuters quoted Hollande as saying Wednesday.
The Telegraph reported that two of the dead were police officers. According to Xavier Castaing, the head of communications for the Paris police, five other victims of the attack are currently in critical condition.
Following the attack, French authorities raised the Paris terror alert to the highest level. French media offices have been placed under police protection.
At around 10:30 GMT Wednesday, two black-hooded men armed with AK-47s entered the magazine's editorial office in central Paris. A few minutes later those nearby reported hearing “lots of shots.”
French President Francois Hollande stressed the importance of national unity on Wednesday in the wake of a terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine editorial office in Paris, in which 12 people were killed.
“We need to show that we are a united country and that we know how to react to this and act accordingly, firmly, but always maintaining national unity,” Hollande told reporters.
Hollande said that French authorities will track the perpetrators down regardless of how long it takes, adding that those responsible “will be brought to justice.”
According to the Telegraph, the shooters reportedly escaped in a black Citroen, wounding a policeman and knocking over several pedestrians.
A possible reason suggested for the attack is a review of a new novel by Michel Houellebecq about the Islamization of France in the magazine's current issue.
Witnesses quoted by the Telegraph have said that one of the attackers shouted "We have avenged the Prophet." In videos of the attack posted online, “Allahu Akbar” shouts can be heard.
In 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s office was fire-bombed after it published controversial cartoons lampooning the Islamic prophet Muhammad.