By ELAINE GANLEY, Related Press
PARIS (AP) — For the second time in three weeks, terror struck France, this time with the ugly beheading of a historical past instructor in a road in a Paris suburb. The suspected attacker was shot and killed by police.
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he referred to as an “Islamist terrorist assault” and urged the nation to face united in opposition to extremism. The instructor had mentioned caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad along with his class, authorities stated.
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation for homicide with a suspected terrorist motive. 4 individuals, one a minor, had been detained hours later, the workplace of anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard stated with out elaborating. Police usually fan out to seek out household and associates of potential suspects in terror instances.
Macron visited the varsity the place the instructor labored within the city of Conflans-Saint-Honorine and met with workers after the slaying. An Related Press reporter noticed three ambulances on the scene, and closely armed police surrounding the realm and police vans lining leafy close by streets.
“One in all our compatriots was murdered at the moment as a result of he taught … the liberty of expression, the liberty to consider or not consider,” Macron stated.
He stated the assault shouldn’t divide France as a result of that’s what the extremists need. “We should stand all collectively as residents,” he stated.
The incident got here as Macron’s authorities works on a invoice to handle Islamist radicals who authorities declare are making a parallel society exterior the values of the French Republic. France has the most important Muslim inhabitants in Western Europe with as much as 5 million members, and Islam is the nation’s No. 2 faith.
A police official stated the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun — which fires plastic pellets — was shot lifeless about 600 meters (yards) from the place the male instructor was killed after he failed to answer orders to place down his arms, and acted in a threatening method.
The instructor had acquired threats after opening a dialogue “for a debate” concerning the caricatures about 10 days in the past, the police official instructed The Related Press. The mother or father of a pupil had filed a grievance in opposition to the instructor, one other police official stated, including that the suspected killer didn’t have a baby on the college.
An ID card was discovered on the scene however police had been verifying the id, the police official stated. French media reported that the suspect was an 18-year-old Chechen, born in Moscow. That info couldn’t be instantly confirmed.
France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen group in current months, within the Dijon area, the Mediterranean metropolis of Good, and the western city of Saint-Dizier, believed linked to native prison exercise.
It was not recognized what hyperlink, if any, the attacker might need with the instructor or whether or not he had accomplices. Police had been fanning out on searches of houses and potential household and associates of the person in query, the police official stated.
The 2 officers couldn’t be named as a result of they weren’t approved to debate ongoing investigations.
“We did not see this coming,” Conflans resident Remi Inform, who as a baby had attended the Bois D’Aulne center college, stated on CNews TV station. He described the city as peaceable.
It was the second terrorism-related incident because the opening of an ongoing trial for the January 2015 newsroom bloodbath on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had revealed caricatures of the prophet of Islam.
Because the trial began, the paper republished caricatures of the prophet to underscore the precise of freedom of expression. Shortly, a younger man from Pakistan was arrested after stabbing two individuals with a meat cleaver exterior the newspaper’s former workplaces. They didn’t endure threatening accidents.The 18-year-old instructed police he was upset concerning the publication of the caricatures.
In a video posted lately on social media, a person describing himself as a father on the college stated the instructor who was slain had lately proven an offensive picture of a person and instructed college students it was “the prophet of the Muslims.” Earlier than exhibiting the photographs, the instructor requested Muslim kids to depart the room as a result of he deliberate to indicate one thing surprising, the person stated.
“What was the message he needed to ship these kids? … Why does a historical past instructor behave this fashion in entrance of 13-year-olds?” the person requested. He referred to as on different indignant mother and father to contact him, and relay the message.
Michel Euler in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, Angela Charlton in Paris and Nicolas Vaux-Montagny in Lyon contributed to this report.
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