(AGI) Niamey, Jan 17 - The number of churches burned down inNiger as part of violent protests over the publication ofcaricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in satirical magazineCharlie Hebdo has risen to at least seven. On Friday, fourpeople were killed in Zinder, the country's second largestcity. The clashes, which took place the day after Zinder's'black Friday', began late Saturday morning, when some thousandyoung people met by the city's mosque, despite a governmentban. The crowd chanted slogans against France and CharlieHebdo. The building was surrounded by dozens of policemenwearing anti-riot gear including helmets and shields. Theytried to break up the crowd using tear gas. Several protestersthrew rocks at security forces. They set fire to two policevehicles and the burning tires were thrown at a police station.The violence then spread to other parts of the city, includinga neighbourhood near the Catholic church. Several agenciesbelonging to French horse racing betting company Pari MutuelUrbain and French mobile phone company Orange were pillaged,and metal sheets from the damaged kiosks were used to buildbarricades. Niamey's French embassy urged citizens to stayhome, while United Nations staff were advised to steer clear ofany gatherings. . .