What is Charlie Hebdo? A history of controversy
The French publication is the scene of a suspected terror attack in which 12 people were killed.
JOHANNESBURG - At around 1:30pm the term "Charlie Hebdo" started trending on Twitter worldwide, sparking a frenzy of retweets and a search for more information.
The magazine takes a satirical look at current affairs, often featuring hard-hitting cartoons. Its team regularly mocks many religious faiths, politicians and popular public figures.
The cover below, which reads "Love is stronger than hate", led the edition it published a week after Charlie Hebdo's office was firebombed. The attack was linked to a controversial issue which the magazine claimed had been guest-edited by the prophet Mohammed.
The magazine was at it again less than a year later when it again published several controversial cartoons of the Islamic holy man. This prompted the French government to either shut down or increase security at a number of embassies around the world.
On Wednesday morning, the usual buzz of the magazine's diary was shattered when two masked gunmen attacked the Charlie Hebdo office armed with a rocket launcher and machine guns.
[WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT] Video footage has emerged showing masked gunmen killing a man believed to be a French law enforcement officer.