Metropolitan Police officers observed a two minute silence outside New Scotland Yard in central London today in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris yesterday.

The silence was to show respect and solidarity for the 12 journalists and police who were murdered in an attack by hooded gunmen at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine on Wednesday. The incident appears to have been carried out by Islamic extremists in revenge for satirical cartoons the magazine published about the Prophet Mohammed, and two of the gunmen remain at large.

In west London other forces including Hillingdon also fell silent as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives in the French capital. The scene has been repeated in newsrooms across the UK.

 

Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK stood "absolutely united with the French people against terrorism and against this threat to our values – free speech, the rule of law, democracy", while France's president Francoise Hollande said freedom would "always be stronger than barbarity".

 

The shooting has also drawn condemnation from Muslims in west London, including at Baitul Wahid Mosque in Hanworth Park. It's Imam, Atta ur Rahman Khalid, said: "We are deeply shocked by this atrocity that has taken 12 lives and injured scores more. We offer our condolences to the family of the victims and those left bereaved. It is hoped that the perpetrators of the attack are swiftly arrested and brought to justice with the full weight of the law.

"It is a great source of regret that such violent acts and terrorist activities continue to be associated with Islam - despite the fact they have nothing to do with Islam's true teachings. Killing, particularly whilst raising slogans of the Name of Allah, is a great injustice towards God Almighty, his Prophet and indeed all Muslims."