November 17, 2015 / 10:16 PM / 4 years ago

Charlie Hebdo strikes back after latest Paris attacks

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s Charlie Hebdo journal, the target of lethal attacks by Islamist militants last January, defended party-goers over gun-toters in a new edition following Friday’s Paris assault.

The satirical weekly, which hit world headlines when gunmen killed 12 people in an attack on its Paris offices last January, published a front-page cartoon contrasting Islamist gunmen and Western revelers.

“They have weapons. Screw them. We have champagne,” read the headline accompanying a front-page drawing where drink consumed by a youthful fun-lover sprays back out of a torso peppered with bullet holes.

The edition was the first since Friday’s attackers killed at least 129 people who were sharing a drink on the terraces of Paris cafes or joining a rock concert in the Bataclan hall.

Europe’s deadliest attack in a decade, claimed by the Islamic State group that now controls swathes of Syria and Iraq, came 10 months after the attacks in which Islamist gunmen killed 17 people in Paris, several at a Kosher shop but most of them at the Charlie Hebdo offices.

The journal, which some see as crassly insensitive and others as an icon of free speech, lost many of the legendary cartoonists who regularly lampooned Islam along with other religions in the Jan 7. attacks.

Its circulation and international notoriety sky-rocketed after the attacks but it is currently struggling to overcome the tragedy. It was saved from financial ruin by a sympathy-driven spike in subscriptions earlier this year.

Reporting by Brian Love; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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