13:35 GMT14 July 2020
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    World Reacts to Charlie Hebdo Attack (61)
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    At least four people were killed when anti-Charlie Hebdo protests in Zinder, Niger turned violent on Friday.

    MOSCOW, January 17 (Sputnik) – Three civilians and one police officer were killed on Friday in anti-Charlie Hebdo protests in Zinder, a city in the west African country of Niger, according to a Reuters report.

    Two of the three civilians were shot by police during an attack on their station, the agency quotes Interior Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou as saying on state television.

    A police officer was run over and killed and 45 people were injured as police clashed with a crowd that attacked a French cultural center and set churches ablaze.

    "Zinder experienced a quasi-insurrectional situation, a spontaneous protest of a criminal nature," the interior minister said. "I would like to reassure Christians that the state is here to defend those living in Niger at all costs."

    The protests erupted after French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published more cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammad.

    The demonstrators set French flags ablaze and attacked Christian shops with clubs and Molotov cocktails. Police responded with tear gas.

    "The protesters were crying out in the local Hausa language: 'Charlie is Satan — let hell engulf those supporting Charlie'," Reuters quoted one of the witnesses, shopkeeper Aboubacar Mamane as saying.

    Protests also erupted in Pakistan and Algeria, resulting in several injuries.

    Peaceful marches took place after Friday prayers in the capital cities of several former French colonies in western Africa: Mali, Senegal and Mauritania.

    Smoke rises from the Franco-Nigerien Cultural Center (CCFN) in Zinder as people remove items from the center after it was burned down during demonstrations after Friday prayer on January 16, 2015 against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's publication of a cartoon showing the Prophet Mohammed.
    © AFP 2020 / STRINGER
    Smoke rises from the Franco-Nigerien Cultural Center (CCFN) in Zinder
    World Reacts to Charlie Hebdo Attack (61)


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    violence, protests, Charlie Hebdo, West Africa, Niger
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