Paris shooting: Arab League and top Muslim body Al-Azhar condemn attack

A general view shows firefighters, police officers and forensics gathered in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Jan 7, 2015, after armed gunmen stormed the offices leaving twelve dead. -- PHOTO: AFP
A general view shows firefighters, police officers and forensics gathered in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Jan 7, 2015, after armed gunmen stormed the offices leaving twelve dead. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (AFP) - The Arab League and Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most prestigious centre of learning, both condemned a deadly attack Wednesday on a Paris satirical newspaper.

"Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris," the League said after gunmen stormed the weekly's offices killing at least 12 people and chanting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).

Al-Azhar condemned the "criminal attack," saying that "Islam denounces any violence", in remarks carried by Egypt's state news agency MENA.

In a separate statement to AFP, Al-Azhar senior official Abbas Shoman said the institution "does not approve of using violence even if it was in response to an offence committed against sacred Muslim sentiments".

Charlie Hebdo has sparked anger in the past among Muslims for publishing cartoons of the prophet Mohamed.