In an extraordinary meeting of the city council Friday, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the status of "honorary citizen", rarely awarded, was given to "the most iconic defenders of human rights around the world to honour great resistance against dictatorship and barbarism".

"By choosing to grant it to Charlie Hebdo, Paris, our city, shows a heroic newspaper the respect due to heroes," the mayor said.

On Wednesday, two masked and heavily armed men, Cherif and Said Kouachi, stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo, killing 10 journalists and two policemen. Eleven others were wounded of whom four are in critical conditions.

The dead included co-founder Jean "Cabu" Cabut and editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier (who publishes under the pen name Charb).

In November 2011, the magazine's headquarters was fire-bombed after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammad on its cover. In its last published cartoons, it mocked Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State terrorist group.

In a move to back freedom of press, French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin said the government would grant the struggling newspaper one million euros (USD1.18 million).Next Wednesday, Charlie Hebdo, known for mocking politicians and religious leaders and printing sensitive cartoons, said it would publish one million copies as against an average of 30,000.

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