Panafrican News Agency

Niger: 4 killed in anti-Charlie Hebdo demonstrations

Niamey, Niger (PANA) – Four persons, a gendarme and three civilians, were killed on Friday in a violent demonstration against the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, in the Nigerien second city of Zinder, 950 km east from the capital, Niamey, according to the Nigerien Interior minister, Hassoumi Massoudou.

In another development, 45 others were injured -- 22 police officers and 23 demonstrators, said the minister in the news briefing here.

The demonstration began after Friday's jumat service as hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets, chanting anti-Charlie slogans, saying the paper was guilty of publishing caricatures of Prophet Mahomet in its first edition after the attack against the newspaper offices, which left 12 dead.

The demonstrators sacked churches and set fire on a Catholic school and the French cultural centre.

The Interior minister announced the banning of the demonstrations, planned for this weekend in the Nigerien capital.

The previous day, the government, undoubtedly to please Islamists, had banned the sale and distribution of the last edition of Charlie Hebdo across the country.

In a communiqué, the government said that President Mahamadou Issoufou took part in the rally, held by the French government to protest against the terror attack on the magazine on Wednesday, 7 January.

For him, it was about contributing to protect the image of Islam against those who see it negatively through criminal acts strongly disapproved by the Muslim faith.

The Nigerien government denounced and strongly condemned the caricature of Prophet Mahomet, which it said was totally an unacceptable injurious provocation.
-0- PANA SA/JSG/MSA/VAO 17Jan2015