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BRICS leaders condemn attack on Paris magazine
January 7, 2015, 3:27 pm

Firefighters carry an injured man on a stretcher in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015 [Xinhua]

Firefighters carry an injured man on a stretcher in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015 [Xinhua]

BRICS leaders on Wednesday strongly condemned the ‘horrific shooting’ at a magazine office in Paris.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘resolutely condemns terrorism’, said a Kremlin statement after French police put the shooting death toll at 12, including two police officers. The French satirical magazine has drawn repeated threats for its caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, among other controversial sketches.

“Vladimir Putin expressed profound condolences to President of France Francois Hollande in connection with casualties caused by a terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices,” said the Kremlin statement.

“The Russian President strongly condemned the cynical crime and reiterated Russia’s readiness to continue active cooperation in combatting the threat of terrorism,” it added.

Earlier on Wednesday, three armed men rushed into the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and shot at least 12 people, 10 of them journalists and two police officers.

Following the attack, the terror alert in France’s Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, was raised to the highest level.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said “it is an unacceptable attack on press freedom, a fundamental value of democratic societies”.

Four of the magazine’s well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed.

The Arab League also condemned the shooting on Wednesday even as the French Interior Minister said three suspects are being sought in the attack.

All measures were being taken “to neutralise these three criminals who have committed this barbaric act”, said French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve.

“Condemnable and despicable attack in Paris. Our solidarity with people of France,” tweeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In November 2011, the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo was fire bombed after it put satirical images of the Prophet Mohammad on its cover.

Charlie Hebdo publisher Stephane Charbonnier was among those killed in Wednesday’s gruesome attack.

“Before having a laugh about a character, it’s better to know him. As much as we know about the life of Jesus, we know nothing about Muhammad,” Charbonnier had said in 2013 after publishing a comic book biography of the life of the prophet Muhammad.

Charbonnier had defended the cartoons, arguing that they “would shock those who want to be shocked”.

“The freedom of the press, is that a provocation? I’m not asking strict Muslims to read Charlie Hebdo, just like I wouldn’t go to a mosque to listen to speeches that go against everything I believe,” Charbonnier had said.

In recent years, France has stepped up its attack against terror groups in foreign countries, most notably joining in the US-led airstrikes against the Islamic state of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). The magazine had tweeted a cartoon of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, minutes before the attack.



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