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Charlie Hebdo supporters to gather in Union Square

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UNION SQUARE, Manhattan (PIX11) - New Yorkers gathered in Union Square Wednesday evening in support of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and its staff, 12 of whom were killed  in a vicious terror attack.

At least three heavily armed, masked gunman entered the offices of the weekly publication Wednesday, shouting "Allahu Akbar" as they opened fire, officials in Paris said.

Charlie Hebdo has a history of publishing provocative cartoons, often lampooning political and religious figures.  After releasing an illustration of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, the offices were firebombed three years ago.

"Our thoughts and our prayers are with the families of those who were lost today," Mayor de Blasio said at a press conference.  "At least 12 individuals killed – at least two of them police officers who were defending lives of people who are simply expressing their views in a free society. So, we lost some heroes today. We lost some people who are trying to do good in this world against a terrorist threat that tries to undermine everything we hold dear."

New York City boosted the police presence at sensitive locations Wednesday.

“These are not amateurs,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said of the two gunmen who stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo.