A French history and geography teacher was attacked and beheaded on Friday afternoon near the school where he was teaching in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 50 km northwest of Paris.
The 47-year-old teacher, identified as Samuel P, showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class a few days ago.
The crime fighting brigade police answered a call about a suspect walking around the school. They saw the suspect carrying a kitchen knife before they discovered the body.
The police followed the suspect for several hundred meters. They said he was aggressive and refused to drop his knife. He was shot in a quiet residential street in the neighboring town of Eragny.
The killer posted a picture of the victim’s head with the caption, “To Macron, the leader of the infidels. I executed one of your hellhounds who dared to insult Mohamed ”on Twitter. The account was closed and the authorities asked people not to retransmit the photo.
The attacker was allegedly a Moscow-born Chechen.
President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Jean Castex went to the crime scene.
“A citizen was murdered today because he was a teacher and because he taught free speech,” Macron said.
“The whole country stands behind its teachers. Terrorists will not divide France, obscurantism will not win, ”he said.
The murder occurred in the middle of the trial of 14 people who assisted 17 people in the murder of 17 people in Paris in January 2015. This three-day spate of violence began in the office of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical newspaper that printed cartoons of Muhammad, first published in Denmark by the newspaper Jyllandsposten.
It was these cartoons that the murdered teacher showed in a class on freedom of expression. He reportedly asked Muslim students to identify themselves and leave the classroom so as not to shock them. Some parents later complained to the school.
The attack took place shortly after 5 p.m. near the Collège du Bois d’Aulne, where the teacher worked. The victim was reportedly serious and very popular with students. 750 students are enrolled in the school, which was previously considered quiet.
The terrorist threat has been high since the trial opened on September 2. On September 25, a young Pakistani man seriously wounded two people with a cleaver outside Charlie Hebdo’s former offices. He said he was motivated by the magazine’s decision to republish the Muhammad cartoons on September 1st.
Mr. Macron gave a speech on October 2 condemning radical Islam. He has repeatedly said that the right to blasphemy must be guaranteed. At least 258 people have been killed by Islamic extremists in France since 2015. – Additional reporting by Reuters
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