Estonian president, PM offer condolences over terrorist attack in Paris

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Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Prime Minister Taavi Roivas have extended condolences to France over the massacre in the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.

«I was shaken to the core by the terrorist attack in the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris today that claimed numerous lives,» Ilves said in his message of condolences to French President Francois Hollande.

«We must be resolute and united in defending our values of which freedom of speech and the press are an inseparable part, as well as in resisting evil, hatred and violence that denies freedom of speech. Estonia is united in mourning with the next of kin and friends of the victims of this act of violence, our hopes are with the injured and their families. Our thoughts are with France during this difficult time,» the Estonian head of state said.

Prime Minister Taavi Roivas denounced the terrorist act as a brutal attack on freedom of speech and said that Estonia harshly condemns it, spokespeople for the government said.

«Terrorism poses a serious threat to the security of whole Europe, to the values of our democratic societies and European citizens' rights and freedoms. The terrorist attack on the offices of a media outlet is an inhumane attack against freedom of speech,» the prime minister said, expressing condolences to the victims' next of kin and the French people.

Armed gunmen on Wednesday opened fire in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, killing at least 12 people including two police officers. Among the victims were some of the most famous cartoonists in France, including the magazine's editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier aka Charb and cartoonists known as Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski.

The attack was the bloodiest in France for at least two decades.