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Picture of the week: Keeping the flame of freedom alive

As darkness descends upon the streets of Paris, a woman bends down to light a candle near the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical newspaper that was targeted in a terrorist attack on Wednesday.

Her tribute to the 12 people killed in the gun attack followed a day of mourning throughout France, declared by the country's President Francois Hollande.

In the aftermath of the shocking attack, during which one of the gunmen was heard to shout "Allahu Akhbar" (God is great) before opening fire, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the capital city in a gesture of solidarity.

Flowers, pens and candles were laid at the makeshift memorial near the weekly newspaper's offices, which swelled in size as the day went on. In a poignant move, a picture of the front page of an edition of the newspaper was also laid on the pavement close to the Charlie Hebdo office.

Flags flew at half-mast while the country observed a minute of silence.

The iconic Eiffel Tower, a symbol of Paris' magnificence, was plunged into darkness at 8pm.

The publication, which pokes fun at political and religious leaders, had previously outraged Islamists after it published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Its offices were firebombed in November 2011, while its editor Stephane Charbonnier - one of the 12 killed - had been under police protection, having received death threats.

During Wednesday's attack, masked gunmen stormed the offices, killing 12 people, before making their getaway in a black Citroen car, only to be killed by police yesterday after taking a hostage at a warehouse north of the city.

The massacre prompted thousands of people around the world to take part in vigils as a mark of respect, holding placards bearing the defiant phrase "Je suis Charlie".

Thousands more took to social networking sites to show their support.

Maureen Coleman

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph