French PM Hollande at Shooting Site: France in Shock

January 7, 2015  

Immediately after the shooting attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, French Prime Minister Francois Hollande arrived on scene and defined the shooting as a terrorist attack.

Hollande noted 11 people were killed by the gunmen who fled the scene after opening fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles and following a shootout with police, adding that another four are critically wounded and that the number of victims is likely to rise.

The prime minister called the attack “an exceptional act of barbarism committed against a newspaper,” noting that France is in “shock” and adding “we need to show we are a united country.”

We will fight these threats and we will punish the attackers,” vowed Hollande, saying the country was targeted for being a country with freedoms, but that no one will be allowed to go against “the spirit of the republic.”

The mention of freedom references the fact that the satirical paper published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed in 2012 leading to a diplomatic crisis between French and several Muslim nations – the shooters reportedly shouted “the Prophet has been avenged” during the attack.

Hollande promised to find the perpetrators of the heinous attack, and said the French cabinet is to assemble at 2 p.m. local time to discuss steps following the attack.

France raised its security level to the highest level following the attack, as police continue to hunt down the terrorists.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also commented on the shooting, saying “the murders in Paris are sickening.”

“We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press,” added Cameron.

American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro also reacted to the shooting, saying “terrible, horrifying news from Paris. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France and the families of those so brutally murdered today.”

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