France on alert over Prophet Mohammad cartoons

  • France has boosted security at its overseas missions after a French satirical magazine published obscene cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

    French embassies, consulates, cultural centers and schools in some 20 countries are to be closed for the next few days as a precautionary measure.

    Government ministers voiced concern on Wednesday over the Charlie Hebdo cartoons but defended the freedom of the press.

    Riot police have been deployed to protect the magazine's offices in Paris.

    The magazine features caricatures depicting the uproar in the Islamic world over an amateur video that insults Islam.

    The magazine confirmed that its website had been attacked.

    Some 30 people have been killed in violent protests across the Muslim world, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans, in Benghazi.

    The protests erupted last week over the American-produced Innocence of Muslims video, which depicts the Prophet Mohammad as a womanizer and child molester.