Charlie Hebdo: Niger Protesters Set Churches On Fire


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.

'Everything has gone'
Pastor Zakaria Jadi, whose church was burnt down in the capital Niamey, said he was in a meeting with church elders when he heard of the attacks.

“I just rushed and told my colleagues in the church to take away their families from the place,” he told the BBC World Service. “I took my family to take them out from the place. When I came back I just discovered that everything has gone. There's nothing in my house and also in the church.”

Niger's President, Mahamadou Issoufou, was one of six African heads of state to attend a unity march in Paris after the attacks against Charlie Hebdo.

“Those who loot these places of worship, who desecrate them and kill their Christian compatriots… have understood nothing of Islam,” he said after Saturday's violence.