At least four people have died in Niger in violent protests over the Charlie Hebdo magazine’s publication of a new cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
Forty five people were also injured in the clashes in the city of Zinder, with demonstrators ransacking three churches and setting fire to the French cultural centre.
At least two churches were set on fire in the capital Niamey and 100 riot police guarded the city’s cathedral to protect it from a crowd of stone-throwing youths.
Tear gas was also fired to disperse some 1,000 youths who gathered in front of the city’s grand mosque. Protesters in several parts of the city were also seen carrying clubs and iron bars.
In Karachi, Pakistan, people were injured when protesters clashed with police outside the French consulate.
Protesters in Senegal and Mauritania torched French flags, and Qatar and Bahrain warned that the cartoon could fuel hatred.
Thousands of people around the world have been taking to the streets to vent anger at the French satirical magazine’s front-cover cartoon, which features the Prophet holding a Je Suis Charlie sign under the headline “All Is Forgiven”.
In Pakistan, police fired water cannon and tear gas into the air as they clashed with protesters from the Jamaat-e-Islami religious party.
The nationwide rallies followed comments by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who led parliament in condemning the cartoons in Charlie Hebdo, whose Paris offices were attacked last week, leaving 12 people dead.
A statement from one faction of the Pakistani Taliban has issued a statement lauding the Islamist Kouachi brothers who carried out the massacre, saying: “They freed the Earth from the existence of filthy blasphemers.”
Insulting the Prophet carries the death penalty under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, with 14 people currently on death row.
In Jordan’s capital Amman, around 2,500 protesters set off from Al Husseini mosque under tight security, holding banners that read “insulting the Prophet is global terrorism”.
In Algiers, there were clashes as up to 3,000 marchers chanted: “We are all Mohammed.”
Around 100 protesters rallied in Istanbul in response to a call by a group calling itself the Fraternal Platform of the Prophet’s Companions, with some holding pictures of the Kouachis.
Source: Sky News