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Paris attacks: Image of horror reveals a Charlie Hebdo newsroom streaked in blood

By Staff Reporter

The haunting first picture to emerge from the Charlie Hebdo newsroom bears silent witness to the terror that invaded the magazine on Wednesday.

At the far end of a corridor, a pool of blood can be seen beside upturned chairs.

Footprints in streaked blood run along the stained wooden floors and papers line the corridor where hours earlier cartoonists and journalists had run from gunmen in panic.

Eight of the staff would die in the attack, along with two police officers - one a Muslim shot at point blank range in the head.

The other dead included a maintenance worker and a visitor to the satirical magazine's offices.

Another 11 people were wounded, four of them critically.

The publication had long drawn threats for its depictions of Islam, although it also satirised other religions and political figures.

The defiant survivors of the brutal terrorist attack hope to print one million copies of their next issue.

Despite most of its senior journalists being killed, the publication's lawyer, Richard Malka, said the surviving staff were going to put out an eight-page issue - instead of its usual 16-page run of 60,000.

Charlie Hebdo columnist Dr Patrick Pelloux emotionally told French TV that the magazine would continue, as not doing so would mean the killers had won.

Quietly crying, the emergency doctor added that, although it would be very difficult to produce the issue, "stupidity will not win".

Paying tribute to his colleagues, Dr Pelloux said they were "extraordinary" men and women who were fired at in the middle of an editorial conference.

He said he was at a meeting of firefighters a short distance from the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris when he received a call from one of the paper's graphic designers to say he was needed.

Describing what it felt like to be one of the first emergency workers on the scene, Dr Pelloux said: "It was horrible. Horrible. Many of them were already gone, because they were gunned down execution-style. We managed to save others.

"I came here to tell you that the paper's going to continue, because they haven't won. And that Charb, Cabu, Wolinski, Bernard Maris, Honore, Elsa, Tignous, Moustafa, the bodyguard who was killed who was in charge of our security - they didn't die in vain."

He said there was no hate towards Muslims, but everyone had to work to keep the values of the Republic alive.

After the massacre, the newspaper's website displayed no content apart from a black page with white text reading Je Suis Charlie, translated into many other languages including Arabic.

It has been reported locally that for the next issue £196,000 will be taken from a Press diversity fund managed by French editors. Google is expected to give £200,000 and the Guardian Media Group has pledged £100,000 to the magazine.

Earlier, France came to a standstill to observe a minute's silence at midday and the bells of Notre Dame in Paris tolled in memory of the victims.

Politicians of left and right joined arms to sing La Marseillaise on the steps of the National Assembly.

Paris Metro trains paused in stations during a nationwide minute of silence.

The lights on the Eiffel Tower were dimmed last night and flags were flown at half-mast across the country as politicians praised the spirit of defiance which saw 100,000 people take to the streets of French cities on Wednesday night with the message "Je Suis Charlie".

Around the world, thousands filled squares and streets for a second day, holding up pens to protect the right to freedom of speech. "The only thing we can do is to live fearlessly," wrote Kai Diekmann, editor in chief of Bild, Germany's biggest-selling daily. "Our colleagues in Paris have paid the ultimate price for freedom. We bow before them."

In Tunisia, the birthplace of one of the killed cartoonists, Georges Wolinski, dozens paid homage in a candlelight vigil outside the French ambassador's residence.

"These people were executed just because of drawings - drawings that didn't please everyone and provoked anger and controversy but still were just drawings," said journalist Marouen Achouri.

Belfast Telegraph


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