10 Killed in Charlie Hebdo Protests in Niger

January 18, 2015  

Solidarity demonstrations for the Charlie Hebdo satirical French magazine that was attacked by Islamists earlier this month has left ten dead in Niger, President Mahamadou Issoufou said, in attacks by local Islamist groups. 

Five people died after demonstrations in capital Niamey Saturday and another five died on Friday in the town of Zinder, he said, after Islamists set churches and bars in both cities ablaze in apparent retaliation for the demonstrations. 

Among the dead are a policeman and four civilians, according to AFP. 45 were injured in Friday’s unrest alone. During the clashes, two Protestant churches and one Catholic church were ransacked. 

“We’ve never seen that in living memory in Zinder,” an administration official told the news agency. “It’s a black Friday.”

A local journalist told Al Jazeera that the Islamists responsible were “mostly youths.”

The January 7 attack by Islamist gunmen at Charlie Hebdo‘s Paris offices left 12 people dead, including some of the country’s best-loved cartoonists. The attack was “revenge” for the magazine publishing cartoons depicting Mohammed. 

Niger, a former French colony, is just one of several countries to have experienced unrest due to the worldwide demonstrations of support for the magazine and for the French people, including Algeria and Pakistan. 

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