French schools in up to 20 countries have closed amid fears of a violent backlash against the publication of offensive cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in a French magazine.
A decision was made to close French schools in Egypt as a “precaution” French officials told AFP.
Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, defended the cartoons, arguing that they “would shock those who want to be shocked”.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued advice to French nationals living abroad, urging them countries to exercise caution.
In Tunisa, French schools will remain closed until Monday as a “preventative measure” after the president of the former French colony said Muslims have “the right to protest” as long as they do so peacefully. There are around 30,000 French citizens in Tunisa, which observes the Western weekend, unlike many Arab nations.
French magazine Charlie Hebdo printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday, less than one year after being firebombed for running similar caricatures.
Riot police stood outside the offices on Wednesday and French embassies in 20 Muslim countries closed amid security fears.