Tuesday, 20 October, 2020

Macron condemns 'Islamic terrorist attack' in Paris suburb

Hundreds of people gather at Republique square during a demonstrati Hundreds of people gather at Republique square during a demonstrati
Deanna Wagner | 18 October, 2020, 11:29

Anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard confirmed the unnamed 18-year-old attacker, who was born in Russian Federation and is of Chechen origin, had asked children to point out Samuel Paty, 47, before he murdered him in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday.

Five more people have been detained over the murder on Friday outside Paris, including the parents of a child at the school where the teacher was working, bringing to nine the total number now under arrest, said the source, who asked not to be named.

The teacher had been the target of online threats for having shown pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class. The teacher filed a complaint of defamation in response.

It is the second time in three weeks that terror has struck France linked to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The father behind the videos and campaign to have the teacher dismissed is one of nine people detained over Friday's attack. One posted a video online, releasing Paty's name, calling for his dismissal and filing a complaint against Paty at the police station for "disseminating pornographic images".

Ricard told reporters that the suspect was living in Normandy on a 10-year residency and was not known to intelligence services.

French anti-terror prosecutors said they were investigating the assault which happened on the outskirts of Paris at around 5pm near a school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a western suburb of the French capital.

An arrest warrant is out for the father's half sister, who has joined Islamic State group fighters in Syria.

After being caught by the police, the knifeman was shot ten times due to his threats to the officers, and died shortly after.

Police shoot man dead after teacher killed in Paris suburb
French teacher beheaded for showing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, attacker shot dead

French anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said an investigation for murder with a suspected terrorist motive had been opened.

The investigation will also look at a tweet from an account that has since been shut down that showed a picture of Paty's head and described Macron as "the leader of the infidels".

French President Emmanuel Macron, flanked by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, speaks to the press following a stabbing attack in the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine suburb of Paris, France, Oct 16, 2020.

A national tribute will be organised for Wednesday, Macron's office said.

On Sunday, ministers who form France's defence council will meet to discuss the killing, while a public mourning event is planned for Wednesday.

Dozens of pupils and parents gathered on Saturday to lay flowers and show solidarity.

"A teacher was assassinated for the work that he does, but freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and the ability to teach these fundamental principles in our schools have also been attacked", added Ricard.

"According to my son, he was super nice, super friendly, super kind", said Mr Nordine Chaouadi, a parent, adding that his son said the teacher had "simply said to the Muslim children, 'Leave, I don't want it to hurt your feelings'".

The attacker seriously injured two employees of a TV production agency, whose offices are on the same block that used to house Charlie Hebdo.

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