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Qaeda Group in Yemen Claims Responsibility for Charlie Hebdo Attack

The militant group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen, took responsibility on Wednesday for the bloody attack one week ago on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people, including cartoonists and police officers, were killed.

The attack on Charlie Hebdo signaled the start of three days of bloodshed in which five more people died, four them customers at a kosher supermarket.

The group said in a statement on the Internet that it claimed responsibility “for this operation as a vengeance for the messenger of Allah” — an apparent reference to Charlie Hebdo’s frequent lampooning of the Prophet Muhammad with depictions that many Muslims consider sacrilegious.

The group said it “chose the target, laid the plan and financed the operation.”

Two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, were accused of attacking the magazine’s editorial offices. A day later, a third gunman, identified as Amedy Coulibaly, attacked a police officer and took hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris.

The statement calls the Kouachis “two heroes of Islam.”