France marks one year since Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris

17 people were killed at the magazine and at a Jewish supermarket

Charlie Hebdo, attacks, anniversary, Paris, gunmen, Jean-Pierre Thebault

A wreath of flowers laid outside satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo former office in Paris | Image: Thibault Camus / AP/Press Association Images

Ceremonial services are taking place across France to mark a year since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

France will stop to remember the 17 people killed by gunmen at the satirical weekly's office and at a Jewish supermarket in the city.

The slogan "Je suis Charlie" appeared everywhere immediately after the killings.

Yesterday, French President Francois Hollande unveiled plaques outside the publication's offices, at the spot where a policeman was shot and at a supermarket where four of the victims were murdered a year ago this week.

He was accompanied by families of those who died, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

Today he is meeting security forces at Paris' police headquarters and reveal new laws against organised crime and terrorism.

President Hollande has paid tribute to the police.

On Wednesday, the satirical magazine published an anniversary edition one year after the attack, poking fun at God and leading to protests from the Vatican.

The magazine featured an armed man representing God on the cover, accompanied by the headline "1 An Apres - L'Asssassin Court Toujors" (One Year On: The Assassin Is Still Out There).

The Vatican criticised the magazine for failing to "acknowledge or to respect believers' faith in God, regardless of the religion".

"Behind the deceptive flag of uncompromising secularism, the weekly is forgetting once more what religious leaders of every faith unceasingly repeat... using God to justify hatred is a genuine blasphemy, as Pope Francis has said several times," a spokesperson said.

Anniversary edition

The attack on January 7th 2015, carried out by two Muslim extremists in revenge for publication in the magazine of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, left 12 people dead.

Brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi forced their way into the building with assault rifles, killing 11 people and injuring 11 more. Upon leaving the building they also shot dead a French police officer.

The pair shouted "Allahu akbar" (God is great) during the assault and were later killed in a fight with police on an industrial estate 30km northeast of Paris.

Another Islamist, Amedy Coulibaly, killed four people at a kosher supermarket in an attack that revived concerns about anti-Semitism in the country with Europe's largest Jewish community.

One million copies of Charlie Hebdo's anniversary edition, featuring a collection of cartoons by five of the magazine's cartoonists killed in the attack, will be distributed for sale in French newsagents, with thousands more exported for sale overseas.

But while millions of people rushed to buy the first edition after the attack, circulation of the controversial publication has slowed to about 100,000 copies a week and there were no crowds trying to buy the anniversary edition.

The French Ambassador to Ireland, Jean-Pierre Thebault, told Newstalk Breakfast President Hollande is taking the question of security very seriously.