Attack on French paper "direct assault" on democracy

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

An armed assault on a satirical newspaper in Paris, France in which 12 people reportedly died has been described as a "direct assault" on a cornerstone of democracy by the UN Secretary-General.

Media reports said that masked gunmen entered the offices of the Charlie Hebdo paper on Wednesday and shot a number of people.

The newspaper recently reportedly published a cartoon depicting the leader of the outlawed terrorist group known as Islamic State or ISIL.

The UN chief, Ban-Ki-moon had this to say.

"I want to express my outrage at the despicable attack today against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. It was a horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime. It was also a direct assault on a cornerstone of democracy – on the media and freedom of expression."

The satirical newspaper is widely known for publishing a caricature of the Muslim Prophet Mohamed on its cover.

In 2011 it was targeted by Islamic extremists.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration:  1’11″

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