12 dead in apparent Islamist attack in Paris
Gunmen have attacked the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and injuring seven in an apparent Islamist attack.
At least two masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles in the office and exchanged shots with police in the street outside before escaping by car.
The gunmen shouted "we have avenged the Prophet Muhammad", witnesses say.
It was not immediately clear what happened to the attackers.
A major police operation is now under way in the Paris area to catch the killers.
President Francois Hollande said there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack "of exceptional barbarity".
In the first reaction from abroad, British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the shooting.
"The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press," he said in a message on Twitter.
The satirical newspaper gained notoriety in February 2006 when it reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that had originally appeared in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, causing fury across the Muslim world.
Its offices were fire-bombed in November 2011 when it published a cartoon of Mohammed and under the title "Charia Hebdo".
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