Police officers and firemen gather outside the Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris after Wednesday's attack. (Associated Press)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the "despicable" attack on a French satirical weekly that left at least 12 people dead today, in a condolence letter to President Francois Hollande.
"I was shocked to learn of the despicable attack on the newspaper in Paris," the German leader wrote.
"I would like to express to you and your compatriots in this hour of suffering the sympathy of the German people as well my own sorrow, and convey my condolences to the victims' loved ones."
Ms Merkel said "this repulsive act" was "not only an attack on the lives of French citizens and France's national security".
"It is also an attack on freedom of expression and the press - a key component of our free democratic culture - which cannot be justified," she added.