Churches torched, Christian-owned shops raided by Muslims in Niger

Police in the former French colony's southern town of Zinder fired tear gas on a crowd of hundreds of people as tires burned in the streets.

By REUTERS
January 16, 2015 19:09
1 minute read.
Charlie Hebdo

People queue for the new issue of satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo at a kiosk in Nice.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A protest in Niger against French magazine Charlie Hebdo turned violent on Friday as demonstrators set fire to churches and raided shops run by Christians, residents said.

Police in the former French colony's southern town of Zinder fired tear gas on a crowd of hundreds of people as tires burned in the streets.

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"The protesters are crying out in local Hausa language: Charlie is Satan - let hell engulf those supporting Charlie," said Aboubacar Mamane, a shopkeeper by telephone.

Meanwhile, in Algiers, police clashed with protesters after rioting broke out at the end of a march against the French satirical magazine.

Several officers were injured during the clashes, with police firing riot pellets and small groups of protesters responding with rocks, fireworks and bottles in the streets around the waterfront area of the Algerian capital.

Hundreds of people including women and children had earlier marched peacefully through the capital chanting "God is Great," singing and waving placards saying "I am Mohammad" in French and Arabic to protest against Charlie Hebdo's cartoons.

"This is my religion. I am with my prophet and they criticized him," said Mohammed Rechache, a truck driver who took part in the Algiers march with his young son before the riots.

Charlie Hebdo's first edition since the attack, published on Wednesday, featured another cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad on a cover that critics saw as a new provocation.

Two French-born brothers of Algerian origin shot dead staff of the weekly in last week's attack.



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