Charlie Hebdo copies heading for UK

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Published: Thursday 15th January 2015 by The News Editor

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British readers will be able to get hold of the first Charlie Hebdo magazine since the deadly shootings in Paris as copies head for the UK today.

Demand for the magazine’s new issue, which carries a front-cover cartoon of a crying Prophet Mohammed, is anticipated to be high in the wake of last week’s attack that saw gunmen kill 12 people at its offices.

It comes as the leader of al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen, said his group was responsible for the murders – claiming the massacre was “vengeance for the prophet”.

A reported five million copies of the magazine are being printed, its largest-ever run, with translations into English, Spanish and Arabic, and versions available in the UK, Italy and Turkey.

The first batch of around 500,000 copies was quickly sold out and several have appeared on online auction site eBay attracting four-figure bids, well in excess of the modest three-euro (£2.30) cover price.

A handful of copies are expected to be available in the UK by the end of the week, with newsagents bracing themselves for a rush.

The London-based French Bookshop posted a message on its website which said: “Dear customers, w e have had confirmation of delivery of Charlie Hebdo Friday morning in a very limited quantity. We do not make reservations and limit sales to one copy per customer. Reprinting and new deliveries should be made in the coming weeks.”

The exact number of copies of the magazine that will be on sale in Britain is not yet known, although it is reckoned to be at least 1,000.

Wholesalers Smiths News, Comag and Menzies Distribution said they would be distributing it.

Interest in the new edition of Charlie Hebdo prompted more than 50 British Muslim leaders to appeal for calm from the Islamic community in response to the cartoon.

In an open letter, the imams and religious leaders write: “With dignified nobility we must be restrained, as the Koran says ‘And when the ignorant speak to them, they say words of peace’.

“Most Muslims will inevitably be hurt, offended and upset by the republication of the cartoons. But our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the gentle and merciful character of the prophet (peace be upon him).

“Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy, as was the character of our beloved prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond.”

Published: Thursday 15th January 2015 by The News Editor

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