A History teacher in France who showed caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in class was on Friday beheaded, reported AFP. The assailant has been shot dead, the police and prosecutors said.
French anti-terror prosecutors said the assault took place on the outskirts of Paris near a school in the western suburb of Conflans Saint-Honorine. They said they were treating the incident as “a murder linked to a terrorist organisation” and related to a “criminal association with terrorists”.
The assailant was gunned down about 600 meters from where the teacher was killed after he did not follow police orders to put down his knife and behaved in a threatening manner, the police said, according to AP.
The teacher had received threats over “a debate” about the caricatures around 10 days ago, the police said. A parent of one of his pupils had filed a complaint against the teacher, another police official said, adding that the suspected killer, whose identity remains unknown, did not have a child at the school.
French President Emmanuel Macron called the incident an “Islamist attack”, urging citizens to stand up against extremism. “One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught ... the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” he said.
The French government, meanwhile, is working on a bill to address Islamist radicalism in the country with the highest Muslim population in Western Europe.
This was the second terrorism-related incident in France in the past month. The incidents have occurred amid an ongoing trial of fourteen people in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack. The trial began on September 2. Twelve people, including eight employees of the magazine, were killed on January 7, 2015, when brothers Said and Cherie Kouachi stormed Charlie Hebdo’s Paris headquarters. As the trial reopened, the magazine reprinted the Prophet Mohammed cartoons that had sparked an outrage and led to the 2015 attack.
On September 25, two journalists outside the Charlie Hebdo office were injured in a knife attack. The police arrested a Pakistani man in the incident. The 18-year-old told police he was upset about the publication of the caricatures.