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article imageFrance steps up security as magazine publishes Mohammed cartoons

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By Katerina Nikolas     Sep 19, 2012 in World
Paris - Satirical French weekly Chalie Hebdo hit the newsstands in France, complete with cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. French officials have beefed up security in wake of the actions.
The cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammed, published by Charlie Hebdo, are already available on YouTube.
The magazine now carries four images representing Mohammed. However, the magazine's website is currently unavailable.
Sky News reported the magazine's editor, a former cartoonist named Charb, denied he was being deliberately provocative. He said, "The freedom of the press, is that a provocation? I'm not asking strict Muslims to read Charlie Hebdo, just like I wouldn't go to a mosque to listen to speeches that go against everything I believe."
According to Seattle PI riot police are now standing guard outside Hebdoe's offices.
France is also preparing additional secuity measures at its embassies abroad in anticipation of a hostile reaction to the cartoons in the Islamic world.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he "sent instructions to all countries where this could pose problems, we are taking specific security measures."
Naharnet is reporting French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault issued a statement saying: “In the current climate, the prime minister wishes to stress his disapproval of all excess and calls on everyone to behave responsibly.”
France defends the right of the magazine to publish the cartoons.
Last year Hebdo's Parisian offices were firebombed after the magazine stoked controversy by featuring Prophet Mohammed as a guest-editor.
Protests broke out over the weekend outside the U.S. Embassy in Paris in reaction to the film "Innocence of Muslims."
Four police officers were injured.
A planned demonstration against the film this Saturday has been veteod by French authorites, with permission to hold the protest refused.
The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) has cautioned French Muslims to "not cede to provocation and ... express their indignation in peace via legal means" in reaction to the publication of the cartoons.
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