Charlie Hebdo Sells Out in Record Time

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Unprecedented demand for latest issue of French newspaper that came under deadly attack claimed by al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips reports from Paris.

Charlie Hebdo has made a defiant return with a new issue that sold out across France in record time, as al-Qaeda posted a video claiming last week’s deadly attack on its cartoonists. The satirical weekly once again featured what the artists said was the Prophet Muhammad on its cover, but with a tear in his eye, holding a “Je Suis Charlie” sign under the headline “All is forgiven.”

After many Parisians joined long queues outside newspaper kiosks in the pre-dawn cold to get their hands on a copy, French President Francois Hollande said “Charlie Hebdo is alive and will live on.”
“You can murder men and women but you can never kill their ideas,” he said.

About 700,000 copies were released and sold on Wednesday as part of a print run that will eventually total five million.

Al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the attack by gunmen on the Paris offices of the weekly last Wednesday that left 12 people dead including some of the country’s best-loved cartoonists.

“[AQAP] was the party that chose the target and plotted and financed the plan… It was following orders by our general chief Ayman al-Zawahiri,” said one of its leaders in the video, adding it was “vengeance” for the weekly’s cartoons of the prophet.

Brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi who carried out the attack are known to have trained with the group.

The newspaper made fun of other religions as well in its latest publication released on Wednesday, and said that Sunday’s turnout of a million people at a march in Paris to condemn terrorism was larger “than for mass”.