Thu, 18 Aug 2022

PARIS, France - Huge crowds and at least 40 world leaders took part in a solidarity march in Paris Sunday after seventeen people were killed during three days of deadly terror attacks.

An estimated 3.7 million marchers took to the streets to show that the French people would not let Islamic fundamentalism divide them.

French police are looking for accomplices of the gunmen who attacked satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.

A video emerged online the day before the rally appearing to show supermarket gunman Amedy Coulibaly pledging allegiance to militant group ISIS, also known as Islamic State.

In the video Coulibaly says he was working with the Charlie Hebdo attackers, alleging that they "split our team into two... to increase the impact of our actions."

Said and Cherif Kouachi killed 11 people at the magazine offices in the French capital Wednesday and shot dead a policeman who tried to stop them.

Ironically, the policeman they killed was himself Muslim, he died defending freedom of speech that mocked his own religion.

Two days later on Friday, Coulibaly killed four hostages seized at the Hyper Cacher supermarket. He is also believed to have shot dead a policewoman in Montrouge the previous day.

Sunday's Paris rally was held the day after 700,000 people took to the streets across Europe to show that they would not give in to fear of fundamentalism.

The Paris rally, however, was held amid extremely tight security, with 2,000 police officers and 1,350 soldiers - including elite marksmen on rooftops - deployed to protect those taking part.

At the Elysee Palace ahead of Sunday's march, French President Francois Hollande met with leaders from the Jewish community and assured them that additional security measures would also be put in place at all Jewish institutions on Sunday and Monday.

Coulibaly was killed when police stormed the supermarket, but his partner, Hayat Boumeddiene, is still wanted by police. She is thought to have fled France last week and officials suspect she may have entered Syria via Turkey.

Foreign leaders who attended the rally included UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with several dozen other heads of state.

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