Wednesday, January 07, 2015

attack in France

As I write this, France has just endured an Islamist massacre: 12 people, thus far, are confirmed dead at the offices of the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo (the word hebdo comes from hebdomadaire, which means "weekly"), long a target of Muslim ire given its irreverent treatment of the Prophet of Islam and of the Muslim religion. Here's a brief excerpt from a live-feed update over at L'Express:

HEADLINE: "EN DIRECT. Attentat chez Charlie Hebdo: 12 morts." (LIVE. Attack at Charlie Hebdo: 12 dead.)

And here's the feed's blurb in its most current form:

Le siège de l'hebdomadaire satirique Charlie Hebdo a été visé par des tirs à l'arme automatique ce mercredi dans le 11e arrondissement de Paris. Onze personnes ont été tuées. Le plan Vigipirate a été relevé au niveau "alerte attentats", le niveau le plus élevé, dans toute l'Ile de France".

Translation: The headquarters of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were targeted by automatic-weapons fire this Wednesday in the 11th district of Paris. Eleven people have been killed. [Obviously, this needs to be updated.] The Vigipirate counterterrorism system has been raised to "attack alert" status, the highest level, for all of the Ile de France.

At least two police officers have been killed and the Muslim terrorists who perpetrated this slaughter are still being hunted. The Ile de France section of Paris is in lockdown. In a few minutes, at 2:30PM, former president Nicolas Sarkozy will say some words to the press from his UMP party headquarters. Current president François Hollande has already spoken out about this attack:

Au moment où je m'exprime, onze personnes sont mortes et quatre sont en situation d'urgence absolue. Il y a quarante personnes qui sont protégées et sauves. Nous aurons dans quelques heures le bilan exacte. Je réunis à 14h00 à l'Elysée les ministres et les responsables directement concernés par la protection que nous devons assurer dans les lieux où de mêmes actes pourraient être commis par les mêmes barbares.

Translation: Even as I speak, eleven people are dead and four are in critical condition. Forty people are protected and safe. We will have the exact tally in a few hours. At 2PM at the Elysée, I am meeting with the ministers and officials who are in charge of the protection we need to have in place in those locations where the same acts could be committed by the same barbarians.

Everything's up in the air right now. I doubt I'll update again until well after Sarkozy's "déclaration." Information is almost always wrong in the early hours of a tragedy or disaster. Best to keep a cool head and wait a bit.


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