Attack on French newspaper condemned

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Latvia has condemned Wednesday's attack on the offices of French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which has left 12 people dead and other seriously injured.

Writing on Twitter, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said:

Later the Foreign Ministry issued an official note of condolence saying:

We convey our deepest condolences as well as our solidarity with France in relation to the attack on the headquarters of a French weekly satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in which men armed with automatic weapons killed and injured journalists and police officers.

 

"We categorically condemn acts of terror and violence, including those directed against the freedom of the media. Such barbaric attacks are yet another reminder of the necessity for the international community to continue joint and coordinated efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism which Latvia’s Presidency of the EU Council is taking very seriously indeed.

"The international community must also continue safeguarding the freedom of the press within the EU and beyond its borders.

"On this day so tragic for France and the whole of Europe, we stand together with the French people and express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives, as well as wishing a speedy recovery to those who were injured.

French police are investigating exactly what happened at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly, when gunmen went on a killing rampage, murdering at least 12 people and injuring seven others.

A theory being widely touted is that Islamic fundamentalists carried out the massacre in "revenge" for the newspaper's irreverence towards the religion.

At a press conference with journalists Wednesday evening designed to introduce Latvia's Presidency of the council of the Euroepan Union, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma also took time to express her condolences, saying the tragedy reminded all of the importance of freedom expression.

Meanwhile at the French embassy in Latvia late Wednesday a trickle of visitors left candles and flowers on the doorstep.

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