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France to Shut Missions in 20 Nations on Cartoon-Backlash Worry

France will close diplomatic sites in 20 Muslim countries on Sept. 21 on concern that a French satirical magazine’s publication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad may provoke a violent backlash.

France will close embassies, consulates, cultural centers and French schools on Friday, the day of prayer for Muslims, the foreign ministry said in an e-mailed statement.