Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Socks and selfies deep': Canadians slam Rolling Stone's Justin Trudeau-tribute

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Panda-monium! French zoo awaiting rare panda birth

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Can Facebook keep growing its earnings?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Qatar 'financing and supporting terrorism', Egypt FM says

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French Riviera's raging fires

Read more

THE DEBATE

Poland Judicial Reforms: EU keeping door open to sanctions on Warsaw

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Libyan PM: 'We need UN's support to hold vote'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Dubai: Taking a dip into the Emirates' underwater world

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Valerian', 'A Violent Life' and 'Belle de Jour'

Read more

Africa

French centre in Niger set ablaze in Charlie Hebdo protests

© Twitter user @IssoufouOUMAROU | Protesters set fire to a French flag in Niger's second largest city Zinder

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-01-17

At least four people were killed and a French cultural centre set ablaze in Niger’s second city Zinder on Friday after a protest against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo turned violent.

Niger’s Interior Minister Massaoudou Hassoumi confirmed that a policeman and three civilians were killed in the unrest, which also left 45 injured.

Earlier, an angry crowd of around 50 demonstrators broke through the front entrance of the city’s French cultural centre where they set fire to the cafeteria, library and offices, ignoring warning shots fired by two police guards, the centre’s director, Kaoumi Bawa, told AFP.

The violence came as hundreds gathered in Zinder to protest against Charlie Hebdo, which defiantly ran a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the front page of its first issue since 12 people were killed in an attack on the publication’s offices in Paris last Wednesday.

For the majority of Muslims, any depiction of the Prophet Mohammed is considered offensive.

“It all started this morning after prayers. Several hundred people took to the city’s street as they came out of mosques shouting slogans hostile to Charlie Hebdo,” said FRANCE 24’s Africa specialist, Jean-Karim Fall.

“They attacked a number of religious buildings. The Catholic mission was completely ransacked. They also destroyed and burned a Catholic school. Several establishments, bars, were destroyed in the city,” Fall said.

According to local authorities, three churches, two Protestant and one Catholic, were vandalised in the unrest. Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, who also set fire to French flags and tyres.

"We've never seen that in living memory in Zinder," an administration official told AFP. "It's a black Friday."

Zinder was just one of many cities across the Muslim world where protests were staged on Friday against Charlie Hebdo’s decision to publish the Mohammed cartoon.

While demonstrations in Mali, Mauritania and Senegal were peaceful, around 200 protesters clashed with police outside the French consulate in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi.

Date created : 2015-01-16

  • PAKISTAN

    Charlie Hebdo protesters clash with police at French consulate

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Charlie Hebdo sells out as 5 million print run is announced

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    In pictures: Charlie Hebdo first post-attack issue sells out

    Read more

COMMENT(S)