A day after five people were killed in Niger in protests over the cartoons at French newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, demonstrators set fire to two churches in Niger’s capital, Niamey.
The protesters also attacked a police station and burned at least two police cars near the main mosque after authorities banned a meeting called by local Muslim leaders. Police responded with teargas.
Another church and a residence of the foreign minister were burned in the eastern town of Goure.
The protesters were heard saying: “They offended our Prophet Mohammed. That’s what we didn’t like. This is the reason why we have asked Muslims to come, so that we can explain this to them, but the state refused. That’s why we’re angry today.”
Four Muslim preachers who had convened the meeting in Niamey were arrested, police sources said. Protesters burned the French flag and set up roadblocks on streets in the town center but no casualties were reported on Saturday.
The French embassy in Niamey warned its citizens not to go out on the streets.
The death toll from Friday’s clashes in Niger’s second largest city of Zinder has risen to five after emergency services discovered a burned body inside a Catholic Church.
On Friday, churches were burned, Christian homes looted and the French cultural center attacked during the violence in Zinder, residents said
A police officer and three civilians had already been confirmed killed in the demonstrations against the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, police sources said.