Thousands Protest against Charlie Hebdo in Karachi
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Thousands of people marched through Pakistan's southern megacity on Thursday in the largest protest yet against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).
The march through the streets of Karachi is the biggest in a series of demonstrations against the magazine, whose Paris offices were attacked on January 7 by al-Qaeda-linked gunmen, killing 12 people.
An intelligence official overseeing the rally told AFP that the protesters numbered in the "thousands", still a relatively small turnout in a city of 18 million people.
Protesters carried green flags printed with the prophet's mausoleum and chanted anti-Charlie Hebdo slogans as they marched.
"Down with Charlie Hebdo, down with the blasphemers," they shouted.
Across the border in Afghanistan, around 50 people gathered outside the French Embassy in Kabul to protest against the magazine, chanting "France you are the devil".
Charlie Hebdo last week published a "survivors" issue with an image of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) weeping on the cover. The issue quickly sold out before more copies of an eventual print run of five million hit newsstands.
Under Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws, insulting the prophet can carry the death penalty, and the country's prime minister and parliament last week strongly condemned the publication of the cartoons.
At least three people were injured on Friday when protesters and police clashed at an anti-Charlie Hebdo demonstration outside the French consulate in Karachi.