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Gunmen on the run after deadly attack kills 12 at magazine HQ.

Byline: Press Association reporters newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

AMASSIVE manhunt was continuing last night for three fugitive gunmen who carried out a deadly terror attack on a French satirical magazine, killing 12 people.

French police said they had identified three men as suspects in the the "barbaric" raid at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, which angered some Muslims after publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Officials named the suspects as brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, French nationals in their early 30s, and 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, whose nationality was unclear.

One official said the men were linked to a Yemeni terrorist network.

France's president Francois Hollande has declared today a national day of mourning.

The massacre yesterday morning was France's deadliest terror attack in at least two decades and prompted outrage and condemnation from world leaders including David Cameron, journalists and free speech campaigners.

Masked gunmen armed with automatic rifles were heard shouting "Allahu Akbar" - God is greatest - as they stormed the office before firing indiscriminately, killing a number of the publication's staff and two police officers.

The attackers also reportedly shouted: "We have avenged the prophet."

By late last night no group had claimed responsibility for the atrocity.

Chilling footage taken by terri-fied witnesses from windows and on rooftops overlooking the scene showed the terrorists shooting one of their victims, who appears to be in a police uniform, in cold blood at close range as he lay already injured on a pavement of the otherwise deserted Paris street.

A bullet-ridden Police Nationale vehicle was left nearby.

The black Citroen hatchback the attackers used to flee the scene was found later and was last night being combed by forensic investigators.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said "all the means" of the justice and interior ministries have been mobilised to "neutralise the three criminals who have committed this barbaric act".

He added that the operation will take place as quickly as possible in order to "identify the aggressors and arrest them in a way that they will be punished with the... the severity that corresponds to the barbaric act they have committed".

Witnesses at the magazine headquarters described a scene of carnage, with bullet holes and smashed windows.

Survivor and Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Corinne "Coco" Rey was quoted by French newspaper L'Humanite as saying: "I had gone to collect my daughter from day care and as I arrived in front of the door of the paper's building two hooded and armed men threatened us. They wanted to go inside, to go upstairs. I entered the code.

"They fired on Wolinski, Cabu ...

it lasted five minutes... I sheltered under a desk... They spoke perfect French... claimed to be from al Qaida."

Gilles Boulanger, who works in the same building, likened the scene to a war zone.

"A neighbour called to warn me that there were armed men in the building and that we had to shut all the doors," he said. "And several minutes later there were several shots heard in the building from automatic weapons firing in all directions.

"So then we looked out of the window and saw the shooting was on Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, with the police. It was really upsetting. You'd think it was a war zone."

Le Point reported that cartoonists Jean Cabu, Stephane Charbonnier and Bernard "Tignous" Verlhac were among the dead.

Charlie Hebdo's website lists "Charb" as its publication director, and "Cabu" as artistic director.

Mr Charbonnier was included in a 2013 Wanted Dead Or Alive For Crimes Against Islam article published by Inspire, the terrorist propaganda magazine published by al Qaida.

French newspaper Le Monde reported that cartoonist Georges Wolinski had also been killed.

Charlie Hebdo's editor-in-chief Gerard Biard, who was in London at the time of the attack, spoke of his shock: "I don't understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. A newspaper is not a weapon of war."

He said the magazine had not received threats of violence: "Not to my knowledge, and I don't think anyone had received them as individuals, because they would have talked about it. There was no particular tension at the moment." French president Hollande, who rushed to the scene of the attack, said it had left France in a state of shock. He said: "We are looking for the perpetrators of this crime.

"France is today in shock, in front of a terrorist attack.

"This newspaper was threatened several times in the past. We need to show that we are a united country. We have to be firm, we have to be strong. We are at a very difficult moment. Several terrorist attacks have been impeded during the previous weeks. We are threatened because we are a country of freedom.

"We fight threats and we will punish the attackers."

Prime Minister David Cameron, described the killings as "sickening".

More: Page 10

CAPTION(S):

Stephane Charbonnier, publish-<Bing director of Charlie Hebdo, was

Above left, forensic experts examine the car believed to have been used as the escape vehicle by gunmen who <B attacked Charlie Hebdo's office, in Paris. Above, French President Francois Hollande, centre, with security forces, arrives outside the magazine offices

An injured person is evacuated <B outside the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's office, in Paris
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jan 8, 2015
Words:875
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