Two churches were on Saturday set on fire by angry mob in the capital of Niger amid fresh protests against French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
The Saturday’s protests began out side Niamey’s grand mosque with police using tear gas to disperse the crowds. the French embassy has equally warned it’s citizens to stay indoors to avoid possible attacks on them by angry mob.
Last week, 12 persons were killed by Islamist gunmen at the magazine’s Paris offices, eight of them were journalists. Another five people were killed in Paris in a subsequent attacks, four of them at a Jewish supermarket.
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.
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.