JOURNALISTS have led thousands tweeting the hashtag "Je Suis Charlie" in messages of solidarity with victims of the attack at the Paris office of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
"Je Suis Charlie" translates as "I am Charlie".
Twelve people were killed when gunmen attacked the building before fleeing in a black Citroën hatchback. They then shot dead two police officers.
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Four of France's best-known satirical cartoonists, including the magazine's editor, are among those killed in the attack. Ten journalists died in total and twelve others were injured, some seriously.
The magazine's editor and chief cartoonist, Stéphane Charbonnier, known as "Charb" had previously defended a controversial series of cartoons published in the magazine depicting the Prophet Mohammed in 2012.
You can kill journalists, cartoonists. You can't kill the freedom of the press. You have only made their message stronger. #JeSuisCharlie— Emily Koch (@EmilyKoch22) January 7, 2015
For those of us who have spent our lives sitting in newsrooms, this feels so personal. #JeSuisCharlie— Sarah Goodyear (@buttermilk1) January 7, 2015
Shocking videos taken by witnesses showed a policeman being shot at close range by two gunmen.
In another, filmed by journalists from the roof of a building close by, shots can clearly be heard in the background. The group filming the exchange are hiding behind a low wall.
President Francois Hollande branded the shooting a terrorist attack and his government raised France's security to the highest level.