Al Qaeda's North Africa branch praises gunmen for Paris attack

LONDON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's North African branch praised the gunmen behind this week's killings at the Paris headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper as "knight(s) of truth", a monitoring group said on Thursday.

The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors radical Islamist organizations in the media, reported that Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) lauded the attackers with Arabic poetry on its Twitter account.

In France, a manhunt was under way for two brothers suspected of carrying out Wednesday's attack on Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper 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 Islamic law.

AQIM has in the past killed French hostages in North Africa, and also clashed with French forces in northern Mali after Paris launched a military offensive in 2013 to dislodge Islamist fighters from the area.

(Reporting by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Sam Wilkin)