The offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has been firebombed by a Molotov cocktail by Muslims, a day after it named the Prophet Mohammed as its “editor-in-chief” for this week’s issue.
The fiercely anti-clergy magazine said the move, which included renaming the publication “Sharia Hebdo”, was intended to “celebrate” the victory of Islamist party Ennhada in Tunisia’s election.
Charlie Hedbo’s editor-in-chief, known as Charb, told France Info radio: “We no longer have a newspaper. All our equipment has been destroyed or has melted.”
No injuries have been reported
A single Molotov cocktail was thrown at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris’s 20th arrondissement at around 1am. The ensuing fire was rapidly put out, but a large amount of material in the office was destroyed, police said.
“We cannot, today, put together a paper,” said Charb. “But we will do everything possible to do one next week. Whatever happens, we’ll do it. There is no question of giving in,” he said, adding that the magazine is filing a legal complaint against persons unknown.
According to Europe 1 radio, police are searching for two suspects seen near the scene.
Charlie Hebdo’s website has also been hacked with a message in English and Turkish cursing the magazine.
The message said: “You keep abusing Islam’s almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech.
“Be God’s curse upon you!”
Editor Charb said the attackers could not even have read the offending magazine.
The cover of this week’s issue, out on Wednesday, shows Mohammed saying: “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter”.