November 18, 2013 Last Updated 9:00 am

Gunman enters French newspaper office and seriously wounds photographer’s assistant

The offices of the French newspaper Libération was the location of a shooting today when a man, described as having a shaved head, entered the office at 10:15 this morning and fired twice, seriously wounding one man who had come to work on a photo session for the magazine Next. The assistant is described as seriously wounded and fighting for his life.

Libération is a left-wing newspaper, founded in 1973 by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Libération was the first French newspaper to launch a website, and today has a circulation of around 140,000.

Liberation-front-lgJust last week the newspaper’s Thursday issue, featured here at TNM, had the word Assez blazoned on its front page. The effort was part of an effort to launch a new Facebook page against racism and discrimination.

The newspaper is currently running a live blog on the incident and is reporting on a bank shooting and hostage taking that may be related to the shooting.

The French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, called the attack an “unspeakable act, and particularly serious, and a direct attack against one of the pillars of our democracy, freedom of the press.”

“The government does not allow the representatives of the print or broadcast media, whose work is essential to the functioning of our democracy and our republican institutions, to be threatened or victims of crime in the exercise of their functions,” Ayrault said.

“I sometimes have some hard words against journalists, but I have the utmost respect for the profession, ” said Vincent Peillon, the French Minister of Education. “I believe that there is in our history two pillars of democracy: school and journalism. I wanted to formally condemn this act and to express my support for Libération and all journalists.”

The attacker is said to bare a strong resemblance to a man who entered the offices of BFMTV last week and threatened journalists before leaving. BFMTV is a 24 hour news channel.

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