#JeSuisCharlie becomes rallying call against terror

THE phrase #JeSuisCharlie has become one of the most popular hashtags in Twitter's history in response to a news event.

The hashtag, which translates to I am Charlie in response to last week's Paris terror attacks, has been tweeted more than five million times according to leading social media visualization tool Twitter Reverb.

The hashtag was being tweeted more than 6000 times per hour worldwide after the terrorist attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in central Paris where 12 people were murdered and 15 injured.

Gunmen, brothers Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, were killed at the weekend after a standoff with French security forces in the small town of Dammartin-en-Goele, located about 30 km north-east of Paris.

An associate of the brothers, Amedy Coulibaly, 32, was also killed after he took 19 people hostage in a Paris supermarket before heavily-armed tactical police stormed the building ending the siege.

The siege situation at the Jewish supermarket was being played out at the same time authorities were dealing with the situation concerning the brothers north-east of the capital.

Four hostages were killed in the supermarket siege.

A search is underway for Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, who is believed to be heavily linked to the attacks and is the partner of the supermarket gunman.

French security officials said yesterday they believed Boumeddiene had fled to Turkey on January 2 and that she may have gone to Syria on January 8, the same day her partner killed the police officer.

The three days of terror attacks were the worst on French soil in more than five decades.


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