Rally in support of Paris terror victims to take place in Tallinn's Freedom Square; gunmen may have been located (1)

The Eiffel Tower in Paris goes dark Thursday night in commemoration of the Charlie Hebdo victims. (AFP/Scanpix)
1/9/2015 12:06 PM
Category: International

Members of the French community in Tallinn are inviting people to a gathering at Freedom Square in Tallinn on Saturday. The rally is to show solidarity with the families of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris, and as a statement about the importance of freedom of speech in society. The event will take place at 14.00.

French Minister of Interior Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed this morning that a major operation is underway in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris. The French newspaper Le Figaro reported that a hostage negotiation is under way at a printing business in Dammartin-en-Goele in the Seine et Marne, according to the UK Guardian newspaper. At least one person is believed to have been taken by what are believed to be the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre on Wednesday. Shots were reportedly fired during a car chase earlier this morning.

Rallies in support of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical weekly magazine, where 12 people were killed and 11 injured in the attack on the magazine's office, have been taking place around Europe the world. Berlin, Rome, London, Helsinki, and New York City have all seen gatherings.

In Paris, the lights of the Eiffel Tower were shut off Thursday night after France marked a minute of silence across the nation as the bells of Notre Dame Cathedral rang in the capital. Rallies in support of Charlie Hebdo took place in Tours, Brest, Lyon, Toulouse, and Poitiers, among other cities, in France. Another rally in Paris is planned for Sunday.

Many attending rallies brought placards reading "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie), and held pens or pencils in unity with those who paid for press freedom with their lives, four of which who were among France's best-known editorial cartoonists.

Journalists at the Estonian daily Postimees posted a photo of themselves in their newsroom on Thursday, also in support of freedom of expression. Many translated their signs into Estonian - "Ma olen Charlie". 

Tens of thousands of French troops have joined a massive police manhunt for two suspects in the attack, identified as brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34. The French Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, said that Said had traveled to Yemen, where US officials said he had trained with al-Qaeda. Both brothers were also on a US no-fly list.

Witnesses at the scene said they heard the gunmen shouting "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad," as well as "God is Great" in Arabic.

The weekly has courted controversy with its irreverent take on news and current affairs. It was firebombed in November 2011, a day after it carried a caricature of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

The Guardian reported that it and Google are taking part in a fundraising drive to help keep Charlie Hedbo in business, and the French Minister of Culture and Communications, Fleur Pellerin, has called for the release of 1 million euros to help the publication. The French paper Libération said it would host the magazine for the production of its issues. Surviving journalists at Charlie Hebdo confirmed plans to print a million copies of next week's edition.

S. Abel

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