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Charlie Hebdo: This is what Paris looks like now

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Thousands have gathered at the Place de la Republique in Paris (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Following the deaths of 12 people at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the people of Paris have come together to condemn the attack.

A rally with an estimated 10,000 people has taken place at the Place de la Republique with some holding up pens and press cards in a symbolic defence of the "freedom of the press, democracy and the Republic".

The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie has been used widely on Twitter and at the rally by people showing solidarity with those who have died - it translates as "I am Charlie".

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"Charb [Charlie's editor] died free"

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People have been holding up pens and press cards as a symbolic defence for the freedom of the press

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"I am Charlie"

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People hold signs reading "I am Charlie"

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A reported 10,000 people have gathered at the Place de la Republique

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A couple mourns the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices

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People light candles at the vigil

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"I am Charlie" and "We are all Charlie"

A number of other rallies are reportedly being organised in cities across France, with French politician Corinne Moreldarleux tweeting out this list.

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One of the first people to tweet the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag was Thierry Puget, who also posted this picture (below) which is now being widely spread on social media.

According to the social media analytics website Topsy, the hashtag has been tweeted more than 130,000 times today.

As is the sad case in extremist attacks such as this, the local Islamic community has had to condemn the gunmen.

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Imam Hassen Chalghoumi (above) of the Drancy mosque in the north of Paris arrived at the scene and said of the attack:

I am extremely angry. These are criminals, barbarians. They have sold their soul to hell. This is not freedom. This is not Islam and I hope the French will come out united at the end of this.

  • Imam Chalgoumi

The Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF), which represents more than 250 Muslim organisations across France, strongly condemned the attack in a statement.

The UOIF condemns, in the strongest possible terms, this criminal attack and these horrible murders and offers its condolences to the families as well as the employees of Charlie Hebdo.

  • UOIF

Further afield, the Arab League and al-Azhar, one of Sunni Islam's most prominent institutions, condemned the attack.

Al-Azhar referred to it as a "criminal attack" and said that "Islam denounces violence" while an Arab League spokesperson told AFP that it "does not approve of using violence even if it was in response to an offence committed against sacred Muslim sentiments".

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President François Hollande, who also arrived at the scene, said of the attack: "An act of indescribable barbarity has just been committed today in Paris."

Measures have been taken to find those responsible, they will be hunted for as long as it takes to catch them and bring them to justice.

  • President Hollande

The Parisian mayor, Anne Hidalgo, was quoted by Le Figaro as saying: "This massacre has left our country, our city and our democracy bereaved."

We have just been hit in the heart of our liberty. We have to react to this act according to the principles of the Republic.

  • Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris

More: The touching tributes to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting

More: Charlie Hebdo magazine attack - What we do and do not know

More: A brief history of Charlie Hebdo - The French satirical magazine

More: France mourns four of its best known cartoonists

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