French security forces on Thursday launched a massive manhunt for two brothers suspected of killing 12 people in an attack at the headquarters of a weekly in Paris.
According to AFP, arrest warrants had been issued for Cherif Kouachi, 32, a known jihadist convicted in 2008 for involvement in a network sending fighters to Iraq, and his 34-year-old brother Said. Both were born in Paris.
The attack, which is considered the deadliest in France in half a century, has triggered an international outpouring of solidarity, with demonstrations spreading from Moscow to Washington, as world leaders and other media including newspaper cartoonists united in their revulsion of the daylight assault.
More than 100,000 people took to the streets across France to express their outrage, many carrying banners reading: “I am Charlie” while the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie was trending worldwide.
President Francois Hollande called the massacre “an act of exceptional barbarity” and “undoubtedly a terrorist attack”.
In the hunt for the attackers, police published pictures of the wanted men in an urgent appeal for information as a manhunt stretched long into the night with a raid by elite anti-terror police in the northern city of Reims.
An 18-year-old suspected of being an accomplice in the attack at the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo magazine was taken into custody after surrendering to police in a small town in the same region as Reims.
A source close to the case said Hamyd Mourad surrendered after “seeing his name circulating on social media”.