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Charlie Hebdo: Vigils held across Europe, fierce condemnation from around the world

By Staff Reporter

As the chants of liberté echoed around the Place de la République in Paris last night, Jamilla held up a poster of a front page from Charlie Hebdo. It read: "Love: stronger than hate."

In every major city across France, hundreds of thousands gathered in a show of defiant solidarity against the gunmen who invoked Allah as they shot dead 12 people in a few horrifying minutes.

School teacher Jamilla (34) pointed at her poster, depicting a Muslim man in an embrace with a man representing Charlie Hebdo.

"I am Muslim and I defend until the end what this poster says - hate cannot win. These killers tried to kill not only people but also the idea of peace and debate. I won't let them do that and everyone in France won't let them do that. They had no right to use the name of Allah. Mohammed would be turning in his grave. Tonight we are all Charlie," she said.

Hundreds of people filled London's Trafalgar Square at a silent vigil. Architect Dean Stoker (38) said: "I was really sickened by what I saw today. It is an incredibly important thing, freedom of the Press and tolerance of others."

Similar gatherings took place in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, in Madrid, Brussels, Barcelona and Nice.

World leaders reacted with condemnation, sympathy and defiance.

French president Francois Hollande urged his nation to stay united as he paid tribute to the dead. "They are today our heroes," he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron also denounced the murders.

"The murders in Paris are sickening," he said. "We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the Press."

US President Barack Obama said: "France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers."

Belfast Telegraph


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