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Syria demonstrators burn 'Je suis Charlie' poster

ALEPPO: Syrian protesters in a rebel-held area of Aleppo on Thursday burned a poster expressing support for satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, accusing it of stoking Muslim anger, an AFP correspondent said.

Dozens of people marched in the battered district of Salaheddin, in the southwest of Syria’s second city, against Charlie Hebdo’s new blasphemous cartoon in Wednesday’s new edition.

“Je suis Charlie” is the slogan that has become a global rallying cry for those expressing sympathy for the victims and support for freedom of speech.

Wednesday’s was the first issue of the magazine to be published since Islamist gunmen killed 12 people in an attack on its Paris offices on January 7.

Some protesters in Aleppo carried banners inscribed with the Islamic profession of faith and a “Je suis Charlie” poster was burned.

“Mohammed (P.B.U.H) is our leader for ever,” chanted some protesters, while others cried: “We will sacrifice ourselves for you, God’s prophet.”

Demonstrator Abu Mudar told AFP: “We are on the street today to support our prophet and to protest against the offensive drawings that Western governments are spreading, while hurting Muslims’ feelings all over the world.”

He added: “These drawings increase enmity, hatred and feelings of hostility among Muslims towards these governments and these countries.”

In a speech in Paris earlier Thursday, French President Francois Hollande referred to a widely shared photograph showing Aleppo-based Syrian journalist Zeina Irhaim holding up a poster reading “Je suis Charlie”.

Her poster shows a picture of the green, red, black and white flag used by the Syrian opposition- AFP

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