Revenge attacks and retaliation begin

Mosques come under fire with guns and ‘grenades’ in France… and kebab shop near another Muslim temple is blown up

  • Three suspected revenge attacks took place across France in early hours following massacre yesterday
  • Country on edge after yesterday’s terrorist attack in which 12 people were murdered by suspected Islamist fanatics 
  • French Muslims fear attack will lead to surge in far right party membership
  • Another incident in city this morning saw a female police officer killed and a cleaner shot in the face
  • Gunman, described as appearing to be of North African descent, was believed to be armed with an assault rifle

Revenge attacks on Muslim places of worship have begun in France following yesterday’s massacre at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Mosques, prayer halls and a kebab shop near a Muslim temple were targeted in the early hours of the morning following the terrorist attack – in which 12 people were murdered by suspected Islamist fanatics.

The retaliation comes as French citizens, and the international community, attempt to come to terms with yesterday’s shocking and deadly assault on free speech.

Blown up: A police investigator inspects the scene after an attack at a kebab restaurant near el Houda mosque in Villefrance-Sur-Saone near Lyon

Blown up: A police investigator inspects the scene after an attack at a kebab restaurant near el Houda mosque in Villefrance-Sur-Saone near Lyon

In the city of Le Mans, west of Paris, three blank grenades were thrown at a mosque shortly after midnight – and a bullet was also fired through one of the windows.

In the Port-la-Nouvelle district, near Narbonne in southern France, several shots were fired in the direction of a Muslim prayer hall shortly after evening prayers.

According to French prosecutors, the hall was empty and no-one was injured.

A kebab shop, located near a mosque in the eastern French town of Villefranche-sur-Saone, was also blown up. Again, there were no casualties.

Revenge attack: The incident was one of several suspected revenge attacks to have taken place in France last night following the massacre in Paris

Revenge attack: The incident was one of several suspected revenge attacks to have taken place in France last night following the massacre in Paris

Suspected revenge attacks: Map shows three incidents that took place last night and in the early hours of the morning across France following yesterday's massacre

Suspected revenge attacks: Map shows three incidents that took place last night and in the early hours of the morning across France following yesterday’s massacre

Retaliation: The kebab shop was targeted following yesterday's attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo

Retaliation: The kebab shop was targeted following yesterday’s attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo

French police and investigators inspect the scene in Lyon this morning where a kebab shop next to a mosque was blown up

French police and investigators inspect the scene in Lyon this morning where a kebab shop next to a mosque was blown up

Eight journalists – including the magazine’s editor – died in yesterday’s attack, along with the two policemen, a maintenance worker and another visitor when the masked terrorists stormed the Charlie Hebdo offices in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.

The magazine has become a byword for offensive statements in France after taking several highly provocative swipes at Islam.

The newspaper once named Prophet Mohammed as its guest editor, published cartoons of the holy figure in the nude, and once renamed itself Sharia Hebdo with the cover slogan ‘100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter’.

A bullet hole is pictured in the window of a prayer room at a mosque in the Sablons neighbourhood of Le Mans, western France this morning 

A bullet hole is pictured in the window of a prayer room at a mosque in the Sablons neighbourhood of Le Mans, western France this morning

Country on edge: Specially trained officers working with French police attend a mosque in Le Mans this morning where three blank grenades were left

Bomb scare: A police officer directs a man away from the mosque after three blank grenades were discovered - no one was injured in the incident

Bomb scare: A police officer directs a man away from the mosque after three blank grenades were discovered – no one was injured in the incident

The two armed suspects wanted over the massacre have been surrounded by terror police in northern France, according to reports.

The men, believed to be brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, have reportedly barricaded themselves in a house in Crépy-en-Valois, around 80km north-east of Paris.

Officers are said to have found a Molotov cocktail and jihadist flag in their car after it was abandoned in the town, according to Le Figaro.

Suspects: The three men were named as Cherif Kouachi (left), 32, his brother Said Kouachi (right), 34, and Hamyd Mourad, 18, of Gennevilliers

Merciless: Two masked men brandishing AK47s shot a French police officer in the head yesterday after storming the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris 

Merciless: Two masked men brandishing AK47s shot a French police officer in the head yesterday after storming the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris

Police helicopters are hovering overhead and special forces have been deployed to the area after the pair allegedly robbed a nearby petrol station close to Villers-Cotterêt.

The station attendant claimed the suspects drove off in a white Renault Clio with covered number plates in the direction of Paris with ‘exposed Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers’ inside the vehicle.

The dramatic development came as the manhunt continued for the ‘armed and dangerous’ brothers who have links to terror groups stretching back almost a decade.

Sickening: The masked murderers take aim at a police car on the scene after killing 11 other people

Sickening: The masked murderers take aim at a police car on the scene after killing 11 other people

Desperate: An injured man was pictured being evacuated from Charlie Hebdo's office yesterday

Desperate: An injured man was pictured being evacuated from Charlie Hebdo’s office yesterday

Their alleged getaway driver Hamyd Mourad, 18, has already turned himself into police in Charleville-Mezieres in northern France.

All three French-Algerian Muslims escaped yesterday following the bloodbath.

French Muslims have expressed fears that the sickening attack will lead to a surge in people joining the country’s far-right movement Front National.

Houria Bouteldja, spokeswoman for Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR), told Al Jazeera: ‘This is a veritable nightmare for the Muslim community, but a veritable windfall for the extreme-right parties that will exploit this appalling crime.’

The PIR party represents the interests of people from many of France’s predominantly Muslim former colonies in Africa and elsewhere.

People gather at the Place Royale in Nantes to show their solidarity for the victims of the attack on the offices of the satirical weekly

People gather at the Place Royale in Nantes to show their solidarity for the victims of the attack on the offices of the satirical weekly

She added: ‘The people who committed this crime have committed a crime not only against Charlie Hebdo, but also against the Muslim community.’

A minute’s silence was held across France in memory of the victims of yesterday’s atrocity as the newspaper defiantly vowed to publish next week’s edition.

In a separate disturbing development, a gunman was arrested in a Paris suburb this morning after a female police officer was shot dead and a colleague injured in a second attack.

Shots rang out in Montrouge, in the south of city, at the start of the morning rush hour, with an M5 assault rifle believed to have been used.

Standing together: People hold placards reading in French 'I am Charlie' during a gathering at the Place de la Republique last night

Standing together: People hold placards reading in French ‘I am Charlie’ during a gathering at the Place de la Republique last night

General Secretary of the Elysee Palace Jean-Pierre Jouyet and the Elysee Palace staff observe a minute of silence for victims of the shooting this morning

General Secretary of the Elysee Palace Jean-Pierre Jouyet and the Elysee Palace staff observe a minute of silence for victims of the shooting this morning

Witnesses saw what appeared to a collision between two cars, followed by two men appearing with the weapon

The gunman – who is understood to have been armed with an M5 assault rifle – was described as appearing to be of North African descent.

As well as killing the police officer he shot a street cleaner in the face when the man tried to grapple with him.

The cleaner was said to be in a serious condition by one police source, while another said emergency services had tried to revive the police officer at the scene ‘but she was in a very bad way’.

Dozens of anti-terror officers surround an apartment in Reims, where suspects have been arrested in connection with the Charlie Hebdo attack

Dozens of anti-terror officers surround an apartment in Reims, where suspects have been arrested in connection with the Charlie Hebdo attack

Second incident in 24 hours: It is thought the assailant in this morning's attack used an M5 assault rifle in the attack, before fleeing the scene wearing a 'bullet-proof vest'

Second incident in 24 hours: It is thought the assailant in this morning’s attack used an M5 assault rifle in the attack, before fleeing the scene wearing a ‘bullet-proof vest’

‘100 LASHES IF YOU DON’T DIE OF LAUGHTER’: HOW CHARLIE HEBDO HAS BECOME A BYWORD FOR ANTI-ISLAMISM

Charlie Hebdo has become a byword for offensive statements in France after taking several highly provocative swipes at Islam.

The newspaper once named Prophet Mohammed as its guest editor, published cartoons of the holy figure in the nude, and once renamed itself Sharia Hebdo with the cover slogan ‘100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter’.

The controversy began in 2006 when the publication reprinted now-infamous cartoons of Prophet Mohammed by Danish artist Kurt Westergaard.

When the images originally appeared they lead to days of protests across the Middle East and in Western cities. The decision to reprint the images landed the then-editor in court under anti-terror laws, though he was later acquitted.

The Hebdo offices were burned to the ground in 2011 when attackers used Molotov cocktails to start a blaze early in the morning of November 2.

There was nobody in the building at the time, and the target was instead thought to be the newspaper’s computer system, which was completely destroyed.

Riot police were forced to stand guard outside the building for days following the attack, as the editors took a defiant stance, choosing to reprint the cartoon images multiple times.

In 2012 they again printed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as a deliberately provocative gesture while violent protests were taking place across the Middle East.

The following year the newspaper’s office again had to be surrounded by riot officers after they published a cartoon booklet depicting the Prohpet naked as a baby and being pushed in a wheelchair.

On the final page of the booklet there was a note from the editor, Stephane Charbonnier, saying the images were ‘halal’ because Muslims had worked on them, and that they were factually accurate as they had been derived from descriptions in the Koran.

The satirical publication, widely seen as France’s answer to Private Eye, prides itself on a mixture of tongue-in-cheek reporting and investigative journalism.

Hebdo’s current office building has no notices on the door to prevent a repeat of the attacks that have occurred in the past.

In an interview with De Volkskrant in January 2013, Mr Charbonnier revealed he had been placed under constant police protection for four months after one of the cartoon issues was published.

He shrugged off criticism that he was only publishing the images to gain notoriety for Hebdo, and insisted that he was instead defending the right to free speech.

Mr Charbonnier pointed out that the newspaper had poked fun at feminism, nuclear energy and homeland security, but the Islam issues always attracted the most publicity.

 

 

 

Source : Daily Mail

 

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