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France Observes Official Day Of Mourning After Attack

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. For a moment today, Paris fell silent as people stopped to remember the 12 victims killed yesterday at the offices of the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. The search for the gunmen who carried out that attack now involves tens of thousands of police and military. In a moment, we'll hear what's known about one of the principal suspects. First, Lauren Frayer describes some of the scenes in the city as Parisians stood in solidarity.

(CATHEDRAL BELLS RINGING)

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: Paris's famed Notre Dame Cathedral. On any other day, it would be a bustling tourist hub. Today, it's a place of mourning, as hundreds of people in black raincoats stand in the rain and listen to these bells ring out across their city with flags at half-staff.

HELENE DUPRAIS: I'm here because I'm angry, and I'm very, very sad.

FRAYER: Helene Duprais (ph) came to the cathedral with a placard reading, Je suis Charlie - I am Charlie. It's in the windows of homes and cafes across this city.

DUPRAIS: I think it's important to be here and to protest and to say with all these people, so we are sad and very angry. It's our country and we want to have the last word.

FRAYER: Police have cordoned-off the Rue Nicolas-Appert, home to the now empty offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine. Barricades are strewn with flowers and candles as locals gather here. One man brought his young son, saying he wants his 7-year-old to understand what's going on here.

FABRICE GARIBIRIEN: He's afraid, but I explained the situation and it's not dangerous for him. (Speaking French).

FRAYER: "I simply told him there are those who use violence," the father, Fabrice Garibirien (ph), explains. "And then there are those who support freedom of expression, which I think is an absolute right." The magazine Charlie Hebdo has said it will publish on schedule next week, with a record 1 million copies to be printed.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD)

FRAYER: Dusk has fallen over Paris and for the second night in a row, people are streaming down into Place de la Republique, one of the city's main squares.

Were you just passing by tonight, or did you intentionally come to this gathering?

FREDERIQUE TEBOT: We intentionally came.

FRAYER: Yeah.

TEBOT: Yeah.

FRAYER: And why?

TEBOT: Just to be here, to show that a lot of people in France here think that Charlie's not dead.

FRAYER: Frederique Tebot (ph) knew one of the killed cartoonists.

TEBOT: It's terrible. There's a guy I knew, the guy who was killed, Tignous, I knew him. But the point is that they just killed guys who were going to work and going to express things with pencils.

FRAYER: Lights on the Eiffel Tower went dim tonight in mourning. A huge march of national solidarity is planned for this Sunday.

For NPR News I'm Lauren Frayer in Paris. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.