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French police search for Charlie Hebdo killers

January 8, 2015

The people of France are in mourning a day after gunmen killed 12 people at the Paris offices of a satirical magazine. Police have named two suspects in the shooting, both of whom are still at large.

Frankreich Anschlag auf Charlie Hebdo - Trauer in Nantes 07.01.2015
Image: picture-alliance/abaca/G. Durand

French police on Thursday continued to hunt for two men suspected of killing 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo a day after the attack was carried out in central Paris.

The AFP news agency cited a judicial source who said that at total of seven suspects had been detained in connection with the shooting. Their identities were not immediately released.

However, the authorities have named two suspects still believed to be on the run, Cherif and Said Kouachi, aged 32 and 34 respectively.

Cherif Kouachi is reported to have been sentenced to 18 months in jail in 2008 after being convicted of terrorism charges in 2008 for helping funnel insurgents to fight US and other foreign forces in Iraq's insurgency.

A spokesperson for the Paris prosecutors' office said that a third man, named as 18-year-old Mourad Hamyd, had surrendered at a police station in a small town in the east of France after learning via news reports and social media that his name had been linked to the attack .

No charges were immediately laid.

Day of national mourning

French President Francois Hollande declared Thursday to be a day of national mourning in a televised speech on Wednesday evening.

"Let us unite and we will win," the president, who had rushed to the offices of Charlie Hebdo shortly after the terror attack around midday on Wednesday, said. "Vive la France."

He also described the attack as "an act of exceptional barbarism."

Thousands of people jammed into the French capital's Place de la Republique on Wednesday evening, many holding signs reading "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie), in an expression of solidarity with the magazine, which lost its editor-in-chief, Stephane Charbonnier, and seven other journalists in the attack.

There were also similar gatherings in other French cities, as well as in the German capital, Berlin.

Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were firebombed in 2011 after the magazine published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed, is known for its irreverence in its depictions not just of Islam, but other religions as well.

pfd/tj (AP, dpa)