Muslims in Niger gathered in Niamey over the weekend for protests against Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. On Saturday, (Jan. 17) at least five civilians were killed as the protests grew violent.
Christian Today reports that five others had been killed the day before in the riots.
As the protests escalated, youth set fire to churches, looted stores, and attacked a police station, burning two cars. Authorities fired tear gas into the crowds to disperse the rioting.
Christian Today quoted a participant in the protests as saying, "They offended our Prophet Mohammad, that's what we didn't like.”
Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou condemned the violence, though he said he understood that Muslims had been insulted by the caricatures.
"Those who pillage religious sites and profane them, those who persecute and kill their Christian compatriots or foreigners who live on our soil, have understood nothing of Islam," Issoufou said in a statement.
Publication date: January 19, 2015