After a devastating attack that left at least 12 dead at the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, people around the world have united in solidarity with the victims. Thousands have tweeted “I am Charlie” in French.
In France’s deadliest terror attack in at least 20 years, masked gunmen stormed the magazine’s offices Tuesday afternoon armed with Kalashnikovs. Twelve people were killed, including chief editor and cartoonist Charb. Five others were seriously injured. Two of those killed by the seemingly highly trained assailants were policemen.
Thousands of supporters have gathered at Place de la Republique in a show of support for the victims of the shootings.
Four of France’s most renowned cartoonists have lost their lives in the attack. Stephane ‘Charb’ Charbonnier, Georges Wolinski, Bernard 'Tignous' Verlhac, and Jean ‘Cabu’ Cabut were among those killed.
In an outpouring of support from across the world, #JeSuisCharlie – “I am Charlie” – amassed 250,000 tweets in just four hours.
Cartoonists across the globe have begun drawing homages to the victims and posting them to Twitter.
“This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today,” he wrote in a statement. “I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity.”
In Moscow, people paying their condolences have been leaving flowers, candles, and cartoons at the French Embassy.
Charlie Hebdo had repeatedly published a controversial series of cartoons satirizing extremism, which were deemed offensive by many Muslims. The magazine faced frequent threats from Islamist radicals and had reportedly increased security in recent weeks.
The suspected gunmen are still on the loose, and Paris remains in a state of high alert.
The little weapon! #CharlieHebdo #cartoon pic.twitter.com/VFFZD2f8Rz
— Satish Acharya (@satishacharya) January 7, 2015
Je Suis Charlie gathering, London pic.twitter.com/V873oD4jEg
— Alistair Bunkall (@AliBunkallSKY) January 7, 2015
Despite misleading press reports, there are no plans to close the U.S. Embassy in Paris or other diplomatic facilities in France.
— U.S. Embassy France (@USEmbassyFrance) January 7, 2015