Paris: An 18-year-old implicated alongside two brothers in the bloody attack against a satirical weekly in Paris, in which 12 people were killed, has surrendered to police, according to a source close to the case.
“Hamyd Mourad handed himself in to police… on Wednesday at 11:00 pm (2200 GMT) after seeing his name circulating on social media,” the source told AFP. “He has been arrested and taken into custody,” another source confirmed.
Meanwhile, French police on Thursday published photos of the two brothers wanted as suspects and launched an appeal to the public for information.
Paris police said arrest warrants had been issued for Cherif Kouachi, 32 and his 34-year-old brother Said who were “likely armed and dangerous”.
Several thousand police were deployed to find the gunmen, one of whom was convicted in 2008 for involvement in a network sending fighters to Iraq, the source said.
In a sombre televised address, President Francois Hollande declared a day of national mourning on Thursday — only the fifth in the past 50 years — after the worst attack on French soil in decades.
The Paris attack on Charlie Hebdo, a magazine that has long been in confrontation with Islamists, triggered impromptu demonstrations of solidarity in cities across the world, including Moscow, Washington, London and Tokyo.
More than 100,000 gathered across France, many protesters carrying banners reading: “I am Charlie” while the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie was trending worldwide including in Arabic.
Hollande called the massacre “an act of exceptional barbarity” and “undoubtedly a terrorist attack.”
“Nothing can divide us, nothing should separate us. Freedom will always be stronger than barbarity,” said the president, who ordered flags flown at half-mast for the next three days.
Charlie Hebdo gained notoriety in February 2006 when it reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that had originally appeared in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, causing fury across the Muslim world.
The killers on Wednesday shouted “we have avenged the prophet, we have killed Charlie Hebdo”, according to prosecutors.