The four editorial cartoonists killed in a brazen attack at the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo ranked among the country's most revered -- and controversial.
Stéphane Charbonnier, the publication's editor-in-chief, (also known as as 'Charb') was killed on Wednesday by gunmen, along with fellow cartoonists Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous.
Police have confirmed that eight others were killed in the attack, which may have been carried out by professionally trained Islamic militants.
"Charb" attends a press conference at Theatre du Rond-Point on November 3, 2011 in Paris, France.
The publication has a long history of lampooning radical Islam, as CBC reports. In 2011, its offices firebombed the same day a cartoon that mocked the Prophet Muhammad was published. No injuries were reported.
This 2011 cartoon reads "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter."
Cabu attends a press conference at Theatre du Rond-Point on November 3, 2011 in Paris, France
"Muhammad isn't sacred to me," Charbonnier is quoted as saying in a BBC report. "I don't blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law. I don't live under Koranic law."
This is one of the offending images:
Charbonnier's last cartoon reportedly sought to draw humour from the barrage of threats levelled at Charlie Hebdo; it reads "Still no attack in France. Wait! We can send best wishes till end of January."
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