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Niger Charlie Hebdo protests: At least two churches set on fire in Niamey

Fresh protests against French magazine Charlie Hebdo‘s cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad have sparked in Niger.

At least two churches have been set on fire in the capital, Niamey.

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 Charlie Hebdo‘s Paris offices.

Eight of them were journalists. Subsequent attacks in Paris killed another five people, four at Jewish supermarket HyperCacher.Niger Charlie Hebdo protests

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

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

Protests against Charlie Hebdo were also seen on January 16 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 January 17.

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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