A woman holds up her hands bearing the words "Not afraid" in French during a gathering in solidarity of the victims of a terror attack against French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Picture: Thibault Camus

Johannesburg -

The South African government has condemned an attack on French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed in Paris, the international relations department said on Thursday.

“The South African government joins the international community in condemning the calculated and barbaric terrorist attack on (Wednesday) against journalists and members of the public in Paris, France...” spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

“Deliberate attacks against journalists and members of the public contravene international law and constitute a crime against humanity.”

News agency Associated Press on Thursday quoted French Prime Minister Manuel Valls as saying there had been “several arrests” as authorities searched for two gunmen with possible links to terrorist group al-Qaeda.

Monyela said: “South Africa stands firmly with the international community by unequivocally condemning all terrorism and will continue to support regional and international efforts to address the scourge of terrorism in all its forms.”

The South African government extended condolences to the French public, government and, in particular, the victims of the attack and their loved ones. - Sapa