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Religious War: African Muslims Burn Christian Churches to Ground

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Editor’s Note: This story first appeared on BBC. We reprint in part here. 

At least three people have been killed and six churches attacked in Niger amid fresh protests against French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Protests began outside Niamey’s grand mosque and reportedly spread to other parts of the country, a day after five were killed in Niger’s second city.

Niger’s president condemned the violence and appealed for calm.

Last week, Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo’s offices.

The cover of the magazine’s latest edition, published after the attack, featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad weeping while holding a sign saying “I am Charlie”.

Seven million copies of the edition are being printed in view of extraordinary demand, distributors announced on Saturday. The magazine’s print run before the attack was 60,000.

Many Muslims see any depiction of Islam’s prophet as offensive.

In Niger, a former French colony, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Niamey’s grand mosque, shouting “God is Great” in Arabic.

At least six churches were set on fire or looted in Niamey and regional towns. Bars, hotels and businesses under non-Muslim ownership were also targeted.

Two charred bodies were recovered from a church on the outskirts of Niamey, and the body of a woman was found in a bar, Reuters reported.

Read the full story here.


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