The Islamic State (IS) militant group praised the gunmen behind this week's killings at the Paris headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo magazine as "heroic jihadists", a monitoring group said on Friday.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors radical Islamist organisations in the media, said IS praised the gunmen in a brief note in its daily audio bulletin, which was distributed on Twitter and jihadi forums on Thursday.
"We start our bulletin with France. Heroic jihadists killed 12 journalists and wounded ten others working in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, and that was support for our master (Prophet) Mohammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him," according to the audio bulletin.
In France, armed and masked anti-terrorism police swooped on woodland villages northeast of Paris in a manhunt for two brothers suspected of carrying out Wednesday's attack on Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine which had published cartoons of Islam's Prophet Mohammad as well as other religious and political figures.
Ten journalists and two police officers were killed in the attack, which has raised questions of security in the Western world and beyond. Many Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet Mohammad to be against Islam. Islamic State is a powerful militant group which has captured broad swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory.