الإثنين , يونيو 15 2020

Niger Hebdo protesters burn churches



Protesters in Niger

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A number of churches have been burned or ransacked in Niger’s capital Niamey

At least two churches have been set on fire in the capital of Niger amid fresh protests against French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Saturday’s protests began outside Niamey’s grand mosque with police using tear gas a day after at least four were killed in the second city of Zinder.

The French embassy has warned its citizens to stay indoors.

Last week, Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at the magazine’s Paris offices.

Eight of them were journalists. Subsequent attacks in Paris killed another five people, four at a Jewish supermarket.

A church, which was damaged after it was set on fire by protesters during a demonstration against French weekly Charlie Hebdo's publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in Niamey.Churches and French interests have been targeted in Niger – a former French colony

People run past a police truck Aset on fire by protesters during a demonstrationPolice earlier fired tear gas to disperse some 1,000 youths in front of Niamey’s grand mosque

Protests on SaturdayThe French embassy has called on its nationals living in Niamey to remain at home

The cover of the magazine’s latest edition, published after the attack, featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad weeping while holding a sign saying “I am Charlie”.

Seven million copies of the edition are being printed in view of extraordinary demand, distributors announced on Saturday. The magazine’s print run before the attack was 60,000.

Many Muslims see any depiction of Islam’s prophet as offensive.

Protests against the magazine were also seen on Friday in Pakistan, where protests turned violent in Karachi, the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and the Algerian capital, Algiers.

People in Somalia took to the streets on Saturday.

Smoke billows in a street as people demonstrate against French weekly Charlie Hebdo's publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.Protests in Niger’s capital are following a similar patters to the ones in the second city of Zinder on Friday

Somali protesters chant slogans holding placards reading I am a Muslim, and I love my prophet, on 17 January.In Somalia, protesters held placards reading, “I am Muslim and I love my Prophet”

In Niger, a former French colony, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Niamey’s grand mosque, shouting “God is Great” in Arabic.

At least two churches were set on fire – similar to Friday’s demonstration in Zinder where protesters also raided shops that were run by Christians.

The French cultural centre in Zinder also came under attack.

The centre’s director, Kaoumi Bawa, said an angry crowd of around 50 people had smashed the building’s door and set fire to the cafeteria, library and offices.

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