Merkel says shooting in France attack on core democratic freedoms

January 7, 2015 15:19

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned a deadly shooting by black-hooded gunmen at a newspaper's office in Paris on Wednesday, calling it an attack on freedom of speech and the press.

At least 12 people were shot dead at the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper that had published cartoons lampooning Muslim leaders.

"This abominable act is not only an attack on the lives of French citizens and their security," Merkel said in a statement. "It is also an attack on freedom of speech and the press, core elements of our free democratic culture. In no way can this be justified."

In a separate statement, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel called the attack an "unbelievably brutal crime".

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