Tunisia bans protests over French satirical weekly's caricatures of Prophet Muhammad

Associated Press

TUNIS, Tunisia - Tunisia's government has banned any protests Friday against a French satirical weekly's publication of lewd, crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Interior Minister Ali Larayedh told Shems FM radio Thursday that authorities sensed some groups were planning to pillage and carry out violence a day later after weekly communal prayers at mosques.

Wednesday's publication by Charlie Hebdo has raised concerns that French interests could face violent protests like the ones targeting the United States over an amateur video produced in California. The government of France — a former colonial ruler in Tunisia — has ordered its embassies and other official sites in about 20 countries across the Muslim world closed Friday as a precaution.

Calls to protest in Tunisia against the caricatures have turned up in social media.

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