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Charlie Hebdo attack: Nation mourns; France hunts for 2 suspects

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Paris (Jan. 08, 2014): Scattered gunfire and explosions shook France on Thursday as its frightened yet defiant citizens held a day of mourning for 12 people slain at a Paris newspaper. French police hunted two heavily armed brothers suspected in the massacre, fearing they might strike again.

The two suspects, one a former pizza deliveryman who had a prior terror conviction and a fondness for rap, should be considered "armed and dangerous," French police said in a bulletin.

French President Francois Hollande, joined by residents, tourists and Muslim leaders called for tolerance after the country's worst terrorist attack in decades. At noon, the Paris metro came to a standstill and a crowd fell silent near Notre Dame Cathedral to honor Wednesday's victims.

"France has been struck directly in the heart of its capital, in a place where the spirit of liberty and thus of resistance breathed freely," Hollande said.

France's prime minister said the possibility of a new attack "is our main concern" and announced several overnight arrests. Tensions ran high in Paris, where 800 extra police patrolled schools, places of worship and transit hubs. Britain increased its security checks at ports and borders.

The satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad and witnesses said the attackers claimed allegiance to al-Qaida in Yemen. Around the world, from Berlin to Bangkok, thousands filled squares and streets for a second day, holding up pens to protect the right to freedom of speech.

Eight journalists, two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor were killed in Wednesday's newspaper attack and 11 people were wounded, four of them critically. The publication had long drawn threats for its depictions of Islam, although it also satirized other religions and political figures.