Seychelles President Michel condemns Paris terror attack as 'cowardly'
Seychelles President James Michel has condemned yesterday's 'cowardly' terrorist attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in a message sent to the President of France, Francois Hollande. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The president of the Seychelles, James Michel, has sent his condolences to French president François Hollande, condemning the terrorist attack on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday which claimed the lives of 12 people.
“Following this unspeakable and intolerable act, which I condemn in the most solemn manner, I wish to express my deepest sympathy and full solidarity to the families of the victims, their friends and their colleagues,” wrote President Michel in his message, wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.
The president said he remained convinced that the newspaper would, with the support of “all those who adhere to the values of freedom and the right to inform” continue onwards despite the ordeal they had suffered.
The French capital was placed under high alert after the attack on the satirical weekly publication that courted controversy for its critical stance towards religious groups, particularly Islam. In 2006 the paper raised the ire of Muslims around the world for publishing satirical cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.
In 2011, the Charlie Hebdo office was firebombed and its website hacked shortly after the newspaper announced that an upcoming issue of the magazine would be fictitiously 'guest-edited' by Muhammad.
A group of heavily armed and masked gunmen stormed the paper’s offices, asking for the editor by name and shouting “we have avenged the prophet” and “Allahu akbar” (God is the greatest), according to French media reports.
The youngest suspect, Hamyd Mourad, 18, has surrendered and French police have also identified two of the other attackers, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, aged 34 and 32 respectively.
The assailants reportedly hijacked a car and sped off with police in pursuit, running over a pedestrian in the process.
Two police officers were confirmed dead and four others have been reported critically injured.
Spontaneous rallies expressing support and solidarity for the newspaper and ideals of freedom of speech sprung up throughout the world overnight, marked by dozens of night vigils by candlelight.