At least 12 people were killed in a shooting Wednesday at a French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which has published cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, police told reporters.
Local news media reported that two police officers were among those killed. Currently, the number of injured people is thought to be around 10, of which five are critically wounded, according to Reuters.
France's terror alert was raised to the highest level after the shooting, President Francois Hollande told local media. He confirmed that several terrorist attacks had been foiled by security sources over recent weeks.
Hollande later tweeted: "No barbaric act will ever shoot down press freedom. We are a united country that can react and unite."
According to Le Figaro newspaper, two gunmen escaped the scene by hijacking a car. Their current whereabouts cannot be confirmed.
An as-yet-verified Tweet showed what appeared to be a Paris police car riddled with bullets.
"Two black-hooded men entered the building with Kalashnikovs (guns)," journalist Benoit Bringer French told French news channel iTELE, according to Reuters. "A few minutes later we heard lots of shots," he said, adding that the men were then seen fleeing the building.
Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2012, forcing France to temporarily close its embassies and schools in more than 20 countries amid fears of reprisals.
Its offices were also firebombed in November 2011 after publishing a caricature of Muhammad on its cover.
The magazine's last tweet before the shooting showed a cartoon of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of terrorist organization ISIS.