The car explosion outside a French synagogue on Wednesday in Paris was caused by a mechanical failure, and was not related to the terrorist attack earlier in the day against the magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Paris Metro confirmed that the explosion, which happened at about 2:30 p.m. local time in front of Sarcelles synagogue.
The explosion was initially thought by some to be related to the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Three masked gunmen stormed into the offices of the magazine on Wednesday morning, killing 12 people in the attack.
— Gabriel SX (@Mandrin_) January 7, 2015
— José Miguel Sardo (@jmsardo) January 7, 2015
A manhunt for the gunmen, who shouted “Allah Akbar,” is underway.
“This is an act of exceptional barbarism that has just happened here, in Paris, against a newspaper. Journalists and security personnel were cowardly assassinated,” French President Francois Hollande said.
He vowed to track down the perpetrators, who fled the scene in a small black vehicle that was later found abandoned.
“We will track them down as long as it takes so that they can be brought to justice,” Hollande added. “Today, France is experiencing a tremendous shock. This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it. It targeted the newspaper that had been threatened several times and it was under protection.”