Gunmen Storm French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Killing 12

Two heavily armed men entered the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris’ 11th district, close to Place de la Bastille, and opened fire, SPG police union spokesman Luc Poignant told CNN affiliate BFMTV.

A witness who works in the office opposite the magazine’s told BFMTV that he saw two hooded men, dressed in black, enter the building with Kalashnikov submachine guns.

“We then heard them open fire inside, with many shots,” he told the channel. “We were all evacuated to the roof. After several minutes, the men fled, after having continued firing in the middle of the street.”

Witnesses also spoke of seeing a rocket launcher, according to French media reports.

A video taken by a journalist for the Premieres Lignes agency shows the gunmen shouting “God is great!” as they began the attack, Le Monde reported. They also cried “We have avenged the Prophet!”

Four of the newspaper’s best-known cartoonists were killed in the attack, according to a law enforcement source quoted in Le Monde newspaper: Charb, Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous. Charb was also the director of Charlie Hebdo.

Two police officers were also among the dead, the law enforcement source said, according to Le Monde.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The French government raised the country’s security alert system to its highest level Wednesday after the attack, according to French media.

Satirical magazine has drawn anger

The satirical magazine is no stranger to controversy for having lampooned a variety of subjects, including Christianity. But what it’s done on Islam has gotten the most attention and garnered the most vitriol.

Its last tweet before Wednesday’s attack featured a cartoon of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the words, “And, above all, health.”

Earlier cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed — depictions that are deplored by Muslims — spurred protests and the burning of the magazine’s office three years ago.

In November 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s office caught fire the day it was due to publish a cover making fun of Islamic law.

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