Terror struck France for the second time in three weeks, this time a history teacher was ruthlessly beheaded in Paris. The suspected attacker was shot and killed by police.
The teacher had discussed caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with his class a few days back. He had got several threat calls since then, police authorities said.
A police official said the suspect was rounded off about 600 meters (yards) from where the male teacher was killed. The suspect was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun — which fires plastic pellets. Police shot him dead after he failed to respond to orders to put down his arms.
French President Emmanuel Macron termed it an “Islamist terrorist attack” and urged the nation to stand united against extremism. Macron visited the school where the teacher worked in the town of Conflans-Saint-Honorine and met with staff.
Macron warned that the attack shouldn’t divide France because that’s what the extremists want. “We must stand all together as citizens,” he said.
France: Teacher beheaded, police shoot dead suspected killer
A history teacher who opened a discussion with students on caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was beheaded in a French street and police have shot the suspected killer dead, a police official… pic.twitter.com/IVyPK84fy0
— Atif Selena F (@LtdMu11) October 16, 2020
The teacher had received threats after he started a discussion about the caricatures some 10 days ago, the police official told The Associated Press. The parent of a student had filed a complaint against the teacher, another police official said, adding that the suspected killer did not have a child at the school.
In a video posted recently on social media, a man describing himself as a father at the school said the teacher who was slain had recently shown an offensive image of a man and told students it was “the prophet of the Muslims.” Before showing the images, the teacher asked Muslim children to leave the room because he planned to show something shocking, the man said.
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“What was the message he wanted to send these children? … Why does a history teacher behave this way in front of 13-year-olds?” the man asked. He called on other angry parents to contact him, and relay the message.
The incident came as Macron’s government works on a bill to address Islamist radicals who authorities claim are creating a parallel society outside the values of the French Republic. France has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe with up to 5 million members, and Islam is the country’s No. 2 religion.
French media reported that the suspect was an 18-year-old Chechen, born in Moscow. That information could not be immediately confirmed.
Police had fanned out teams on searches of homes and potential family and friends of the man in question.