Stephane Mahe / Reuters

Charlie Hebdo plans 3 million copies of new issue

French magazine putting cartoon of Prophet Muhammad on cover of next issue, first since 12 killed at office

The French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo is planning a multimillion copy press run of its next issue, which will feature a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover, the first since extremists killed 12 people at its offices Jan. 7.

The newspaper Libération hosted Charlie Hebdo staffers as they prepared the new issue and is handling its special 3 million copy print run in numerous languages.

Libération published the Charlie Hebdo cover online late Monday night, ahead of the magazine's publication on Wednesday. The cartoon shows a bearded man in a white turban with a tear streaming down his cheek and holding a sign reading "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie"). Above him is the phrase "Tout est pardonne" (All is forgiven), which media interpreted as meaning Muhammad is forgiving the cartoonists for lampooning him.

Charlie Hebdo's past caricatures of the Muslim prophet appear to have prompted last week's attacks, part of the worst terrorist rampage in France in decades.

Earlier Monday, Charlie Hebdo lawyer Richard Malka told French radio that the new issue would "obviously" feature cartoons of Muhammad.

Seventeen people died in last week's attacks. Additionally, brothers Chérif Kouachi and Saïd Kouachi and their friend Amedy Coulibaly were killed Friday by police after the murderous spree at the Charlie Hebdo offices and a kosher supermarket. The three claimed ties to armed groups in the Middle East.

French police said Monday that as many as six members of a cell involved in the attacks may still be at large.

France saw its biggest demonstrations in history Sunday as millions turned out to show unity and defend freedom of expression.

The Associated Press

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