France to close Nairobi embassy Friday for fear of attacks

September 19, 2012 5:11 pm
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An official at the embassy in Nairobi said, the embassy will resume normal operations on Monday/AFP
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 19 – The French embassy in Nairobi will close on Friday for fear of being targeted by furious Muslims protesting publication of obscene cartoons of Prophet Mohammed by a French magazine on Wednesday.

An official at the embassy in Nairobi said, the embassy will resume normal operations on Monday.

“It is a precaution we are taking. The embassy will close on Friday until Monday,” the official, speaking on condition of anonymity said, adding “It is better to take precautions than deal with repercussions.”

Asked why they chose to close on Friday, the embassy official said “it is a norm world over that Muslim protests come after Friday prayers.”

The embassy official said they have also asked for security enhancement from the Kenya Police to curb any likely security challenge.

France braced for a backlash from the cartoons, stepping up security at its embassies and banning demonstrations on its own soil as senior officials appealed for calm.

More than 30 people have been killed in attacks or violent protests linked to the controversial US-made film “Innocence of Muslims”, including 12 people who died in an attack by a female suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had earlier announced that he had ordered special security measures in all their embassies in countries likely to be targets of the Muslim protesters.

More than 30 people have been killed in attacks or violent protests linked to the controversial US-made film “Innocence of Muslims”, including 12 people who died in an attack by a female suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

The international media quoting the French Ministry in Paris reported that at least 20 embassies would be closed Friday for fear of being targeted by angry Muslim protesters.

Police have been deployed outside the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine which printed a series of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The left-wing, libertarian publication’s offices were firebombed last year after it published an edition “guest-edited” by the Prophet that it called Sharia Hebdo.

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