According to recent reports, protests against French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo’s latest depiction of the prophet Mohammed have devolved in violent mobs that have begun burning down churches and Christian businesses across Niger, a 97% Muslim West African nation and former French colony.
01/16/2015 Niger (World Watch Monitor) – At least five churches in southeastern Niger were ransacked and burned down Friday by hundreds of Islamist demonstrators angered by a cartoon published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
According to local sources contacted by World Watch Monitor, hundreds of people marched violently around 1:30 pm, shortly after Friday prayers. Shouting ‘’Allah Akbar’’ — God is great — they attacked and set fire on most of the Churches in the South-Eastern city of Zinder, about 1000 km, from Niamey, the capital of Niger.
The protesters, believed to be mainly youngsters, looted and ransacked several properties or shops belonging to members of Christian community in different parts of the city.
Several public buildings and properties were also set afire, among them the French cultural centre, the headquarters of the ruling party and several bars. Security forces fired tear gas in an attempt to restore order.
“We have never seen that before in Zinder,” a local source told AFP. “It’s Black Friday,” he lamented.