At least three civilians and one police officer have reportedly been killed during a protest against cartoons published in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. It comes as Muslims across the world united in marches on Friday.
“There was one police officer killed and three civilians,” a police source told Reuters. “Some of the protesters were armed with bows and arrows as well as clubs. The clashes were very violent in some places,” he said.
Another 45 people – 23 protesters and 22 police officers – have been wounded. A rally in Niger’s second city, Zinder, also descended into violence as protesters set fire to churches and raided shops run by Christians.
A French cultural center was set ablaze by about 50 protesters who broke through the building’s front entrance. Shouting “Charlie is the devil,” they set fire to the cafeteria, library, and offices.
“We’ve never seen that in living memory in Zinder,” an administration official told AFP. “It’s a black Friday.” Outraged by the new magazine issue, Muslim communities staged mass marches across the world on Friday.
An anti-Charlie Hebdo rally, organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, gathered over 2,000 protesters in Amman, Jordan. Brotherhood spokesman Murad Adaileh said the group strongly condemns both the killings and the “offensive” against the prophet, AP reported.