French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday published a 64-page special issue with cartoons on the life of the prophet Mohammed.

The weekly had published cartoons of Mohammed in September, prompting protests worldwide that forced the temporary closure of several French institutes abroad.

It is offensive in Islam to depict images of the prophet.

French government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told broadcaster France 2: "There is no necessity to pour oil on fire."

Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier said over the weekend: "If people want to be shocked, they will be shocked."

In September, there were violent protests in Muslim countries thatwere sparked by a low-budget, privately produced film from the UnitedStates depicting the prophet as a blood-thirsty womanizer and pedophile.

The attacks on U.S. and Western embassies were blamed on the uproarover the film, after it was condemned by religious andpolitical leaders.

In 2005, mass protests erupted across the Muslim world after the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, published 12 caricatures lampooning Prophet Mohammed.