World leaders head Paris march to honour terror victims

World leaders head Paris march to honour terror victims

More than 40 world leaders, their arms linked, marched through Paris today to rally for unity and freedom of expression and to honour 17 victims of three days of terrorist attacks.

The leaders were heading a demonstration of at least tens of thousands of people who converged on the capital after three gunmen attacked a newspaper office, kosher supermarket and police.

Deafening applause rang out over the square as the leaders walked past, amid tight security and an atmosphere of togetherness amid adversity.

Families of the victims, many weeping and embracing, were also at the front of the march along with the world leaders, including French President Francois Hollande, top representatives of Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The aftermath of the attacks remained raw, with video emerging of one of the gunmen killed during police raids pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group and detailing how the attacks were going to unfold.


Also, a new shooting was linked to that gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, who was killed on Friday along with the brothers behind a massacre at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in nearly simultaneous raids by security forces.


"Today, Paris is the capital of the world," said French President Francois Hollande. "Our entire country will rise up toward something better."

Rallies were also planned in London, Madrid and New York all attacked by al-Qaida-linked extremists as well as Cairo, Sydney, Stockholm, Tokyo and elsewhere.

"We are all Charlie, we are all police, we are all Jews of France," Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared on Saturday.

The three days of terror began on Wednesday when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed the newsroom of Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people.

Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen said it directed the attack by the masked gunmen to avenge the honour of the Prophet Muhammad, a frequent target of the weekly's satire.

On Thursday, police said Coulibaly killed a policewoman on the outskirts of Paris and on Friday, the attackers converged.

While the Kouachi brothers holed up in a printing plant near Charles de Gaulle airport, Coulibaly seized hostages inside a kosher market.

It all ended at dusk on Friday with near-simultaneous raids at the printing plant and the market that left all three gunmen dead. Four hostages at the market were also killed.

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