AFP reported that a source close to the Paris police investigation said that the attackers were “armed with a Kalashnikov and a rocket-launcher.” The men apparently exchanged fire with security forces after they stormed the building, located in a central part of the city.
French news channel BFMTV said that a worker in the office opposite of Charlie Hebdo saw two hooded men dressed in black enter the building, carrying Kalashnikovs.
“We then heard them open fire inside, with many shots,” the witness said. “We were all evacuated to the roof. After several minutes, the men fled, after having continued firing in the middle of the street.”
Charlie Hebdo has a long history of attracting controversy for its drawings, and has been accused of insulting Islam. In February 2006, it reprinted caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that had originally appeared in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten.
In November 2011 Charlie Hebdo was hit by a fire-bomb after it published more cartoons of Muslim Prophet Mohammed, and in September 2012 it depicted the Islamic prophet in a naked state. The published cartoons caused French schools, consulates and cultural centers in 20 Islamic countries to fear retaliatory attacks.