World

French president tells nation to stay unite, find attackers who killed 12 at newspaper office

  • French President Francois Hollande walks out of the lobby of the Elysee Palace, after a meeting with religious leaders in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of a French satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing at least 12 people before escaping, police and a witness said. The weekly has previously drawn condemnation from Muslims. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

    French President Francois Hollande walks out of the lobby of the Elysee Palace, after a meeting with religious leaders in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of a French satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing at least 12 people before escaping, police and a witness said. The weekly has previously drawn condemnation from Muslims. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)  (The Associated Press)

  • French President Francois Hollande walks out of the lobby of the Elysee Palace, after a meeting with religious leaders in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of a French satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing at least 12 people before escaping, police and a witness said. The weekly has previously drawn condemnation from Muslims. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

    French President Francois Hollande walks out of the lobby of the Elysee Palace, after a meeting with religious leaders in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of a French satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing at least 12 people before escaping, police and a witness said. The weekly has previously drawn condemnation from Muslims. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)  (The Associated Press)

France's president has urged the nation to stay united as it hunts gunmen who killed 12 people at the office of a satirical newspaper.

Speaking on national television Wednesday night about the slain journalists, Francois Hollande said, "They are today our heroes."

The attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper was France's deadliest attack in decades. The newspaper has caricatured Islamic extremists and the Prophet Muhammad.

The attackers are at large, and Hollande called for them to be chased down, judged and punished.

Hollande said France would hold a national day of mourning and fly flags at half-staff for three days.

France has seen a rise in religion-related tensions. Hollande told the French "Let us unite ... and we will win."