Lighted Candles Next To A Placard Reading 'I Am Charlie'
A woman lights a candle next to a placard reading "I am Charlie" during a gathering in Pristina January 7, 2015, following a shooting by gunmen at the offices of weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the magazine renowned for lampooning radical Islam, killing at least 12 people, including two police officers in the worst militant attack on French soil in recent decades. Reuters/Hazir Reka

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has strongly condemned the deadly terror attack in the offices of Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris. In an official statement, Mr Key said the Paris shooting has left 12 people dead with others injured and fighting for their lives.

The prime minister has sent his thoughts and sympathies in behalf of New Zealand to the families of the 12 people who died and the people of France. According to French authorities, the attack in Charlie Hebdo was believed to be politically motivated.

Mr Key said the targeting of journalists who are just doing their jobs is regarded as an attack on the fourth estate and the "democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression." He added that he hoped the person responsible for the attack would be caught as soon as possible and brought to justice for the violent crime. New Zealanders in Paris are advised to follow local authorities and register their details at

Nathalie Buckrell, Alliance France Wellington director, was saddened by the news and said the satirical paper was a part of French identity. She said Charlie Hebdo was a "symbol" of the republic and freedom. The alliance respected the 12 people who died in the paper's offices since they were provocative journalists. She described the incident as an attack on the "heart of France."

Buckrell said she has not talked to anyone in France yet and was still waiting to hear from the French embassy in New Zealand to have an idea on what her organisation will be doing in light of the attack. Kiwis living and vacationing in Paris spoke about their sentiments about the horrific killings. Tamara Style, a Kiwi who now lives in Paris, said she was shocked. She added that the incident has made her "nervous" about going outside, New Zealand Herald reported.

Meanwhile, the French embassy in Wellington said in a statement that a three-day mourning period was declared by the French government following the "horrendous terrorist attack." A condolence book will be placed at the reception of the French embassy on Wellington's Manners Street for those who would like to express their sympathies.

Contact email: