Charlie Hebdo Pakistan Protest
People hold signs as they chant slogans during a protest against satirical French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in PakistanReuters

A protest against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Pakistan turned violent, with demonstrators clashing with police near the French consulate in Karachi.

Anti-riot police used water cannons to disperse the crowd that took to the streets to vent their anger at cartoons mocking Islam's Prophet Mohammed published by the French weekly, in a defiant response to the massacre of 12 of its cartoonists and staff at the hands of Islamist gunmen.

Early reports suggested several people, including a photographer, have been injured in the clashes.

The protest was organised by conservative religious groups. Hundreds of demonstrators, some carrying batons, gathered at the Teen Talwar monument in the port city, to march on the French consulate, Dawn newspaper reported.

Police blocked roads leading to the diplomatic compound. Violence broke out as the rally reached the security perimeter.

Pakistan officially condemned last week's Islamist attacks that killed 17 people in Paris. However, earlier this week, lawmakers also unanimously voted a resolution condemning Charlie Hebdo's publications of cartoons mocking Islam's most sacred figure.

According to the Islamic faith, it is offensive to depict Mohammed in any manner.

A hard-line Muslim cleric in Peshawar held a funeral in absentia for Charlie Hebdo shooters Said and Cherif Kouachi, calling the brothers "heroes of Islam."

Allama Pir Mohammad Chishti told mourners after the ceremony in a public park in Peshawar: "Today we feel so proud to attend the funeral of our brothers. They are heroes of Islam. They laid down their lives but eliminated those [who] published caricatures of our Prophet Mohammed."