Persecution of Non-Muslims (Niger)

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Note that the persecution of apostates and the persecution of homosexuals are covered in separate pages

Soon-to-be-married French aid worker and best man are seized and killed close to the desert border with Mali[edit]

Antoine de Léocour, 25, had been living in Niger for two years and was planning to marry his fiancee, a local woman called Rakia, on Saturday. His friend Vincent Delory, 25, a computer engineer, had flown to the Niger capital, Niamey, to be best man at the wedding. He arrived on Friday afternoon, only a few hours before he was kidnapped.

The two men were dining at Le Toulousain restaurant in the centre of Niamey when they were approached at their table by four armed men believed to be part of al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb shortly before 11pm. In a matter of minutes, they were marched out of the restaurant at gunpoint and ordered into a 4x4 Toyota parked in front of the restaurant.

Witnesses said the men, carrying machine guns, abducted the Frenchmen like professional commandos, silently and without a shot being fired.
. . .
a number of kidnappers were reported to have been killed. The two men's bodies were then found. "Pending the outcome of an investigation, everything seems to indicate that the two French hostages were executed," Burkhard told AFP.
. . .
The deaths are the latest attack on French citizens in Niger. Five hostages were seized from the French energy companies Areva and Veolia in the north of the country in September.

France has warned its citizens against all travel to the region, saying the threat stretches from Africa's Atlantic coast to the Red Sea, with "no area … considered safe".
French bridegroom and best man seized and killed in Niger
Kim Willsher, The Guardian, January 9, 2011

"Our religion has been attacked, and it's why we are in the streets to express our anger," Muslim mobs violently protest Muhammad movie by attacking a Christian school, burning it and destroying a statue of Virgin Mary[edit]

Muslims angry over a U.S.-made film that portrays Islam's Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer have attacked a Christian school in eastern Niger, destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.

An Associated Press reporter present in Zinder, located 550 miles (900 kilometres east) of the capital, Niamey, saw the mob also burn the school's door and bunks used by the pupils before security forces intervened.

Protester Mamane Sani said, "Our religion has been attacked, and it's why we are in the streets to express our anger."

Eighty per cent of Niger's 16 million people are Muslim. Riots over the anti-Muslim film have spread to numerous countries, including the West African nations of Mauritania and Nigeria.