Jewish Caricaturist Among 12 Killed in Paris Attack

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Jewish cartoonist Georges Wolinski, left; police officers respond to the shooting, right.Credit: JTA

An attack on the Paris headquarters of a French satirical magazine has left at least 12 people dead, including the Jewish caricaturist Georges Wolinski.

Two of the reported fatalities were police officers, according to Le Monde. Ten others were wounded in the attack, five of them seriously.

Details of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices are still sketchy, but witnesses said the assailants knew exactly whom to target at the magazine, which has published a series of satirical cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

Several of those cartoons were drawn by Wolinksi, 80, a Tunisian-born Jew who was known for his cynical and at times vulgar style. Born in 1934, he moved to France as a teenager and got into journalism in the 1960s, going on to work at some of the country’s leading publications such as L’Humanite, Le Nouvel Observateur and Paris Match.

It’s clear that this was a planned attack against Wolinski and the other cartoon artists,” said Richard Kenigsman, a well-known Jewish caricaturist and painter from Brussels, who cited an attack and multiple threats against Charlie Hebdo since 2006 for publishing caricatures deemed offensive to Islam.

Corinne Rey, a designer at the magazine, let two gunmen into the offices on Wednesday after she returned from bringing her daughter to kindergarten. Threatening to kill her, the assailants forced her to punch in the security code and proceeded to shoot four caricaturists — Wolinski, Jean Cabut, Stephane Charbonnier and Bernard Verlhac — along with eight others in a shooting spree that went on for five minutes..

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