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‘Screw them, we have champagne,’ Charlie Hebdo says in response to Paris attacks

Charlie Hebdo, AFP | This handout image from French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo shows the cover of the latest issue, which is due to hit newsstands on November 18, 2015

The cover of this week’s Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical weekly that was brutally attacked in January, combines poignancy and defiance in its response to Friday’s tragic attacks in Paris, which claimed the lives of at least 129 people.

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The much awaited cover, which was illustrated by the cartoonist Coco and is due to appear on news stands Wednesday, depicts a reveller holding a bottle in one hand and drinking from a glass in the other, while champagne spouts from his bullet-riddled body.

"They have weapons," the caption reads, adding below: "Screw them, we have champagne."

The attacks on Friday evening struck several targets in a trendy area of eastern Paris including pavement cafés and the Bataclan nightclub, where mostly young people were enjoying a night out, leaving at least 129 dead and more than 350 injured.

The strikes came just 10 months after 17 people were killed in similar attacks on Charlie Hebdo’s offices – located just a short walk from the Bataclan – and elsewhere in the city, including a kosher grocery store.

Charlie Hebdo has frequently provoked outrage among Muslims by publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, whose image is considered blasphemous by many followers of Islam. Its "survivors’ issue", the first to be published after January’s attack, featured a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the front page.

In the upcoming issue, Charlie Hebdo’s managing editor Riss compares today’s Paris to London during World War II in an editorial.

"Blood and tears, prophesised Churchill. That's where we are. Without realising it, the Parisians of 2015 have sort of become the Londoners of 1940, determined not to yield, neither to fear nor to resignation, whatever catches them off guard," he writes.

He calls for renewed debate on Islam, which, he writes, "for the past 20 years has become a battleground where radicals want to exterminate non-believers and subdue moderates by force."

"Avoiding the pitfall of division should not make us renounce the right to criticise religion on the pretext that its exercise is sometimes irritating. Among all the basic freedoms that make up our lives, it is also this freedom that the killers wanted to eliminate this Friday evening," Riss added.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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