A history teacher who had allegedly shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class was beheaded and his attacker was shot by French police as they tried to arrest him on Friday, police and prosecutors said. French terrorists said they were investigating the attack, which took place on the outskirts of Paris around 1 p.m. 17.00 local time near a school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a western suburb of the French capital.
Le Parisien and Reuters reported that the teacher recently held a class on freedom of speech and showed cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered by Muslims to be blasphemous.
Prosecutors said they treated the incident as “a murder linked to a terrorist organization” and related to a “criminal association with terrorists.”
The allegations are similar to those made last month against a 25-year-old Pakistani man who wounded two people in a meat-clover attack to avenge the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
The attacker seriously injured two employees of a television production agency whose offices are in the same block that previously housed Charlie Hebdo. Both survived.
This attack came three weeks into an ongoing lawsuit against suspected accomplices from the authors of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 and a Jewish supermarket that also saw a policewoman shot down the street.
Seventeen people were killed in the three-day storm that heralded a wave of Islamist violence in France that has so far claimed more than 250 lives.
The trial has sparked protests across France, with thousands of protesters gathering against Charlie Hebdo and the French government.
Police arrived at the scene Friday after receiving a call about a suspicious person strolling around the school, a police source said.
There they found the dead man and nearby saw the suspect armed with a knife-like weapon threatening them as they tried to arrest him.
They opened fire and seriously injured him, the source said. He later died of his injuries, a legal source said.
The scene has been cut off and a disposal unit dispatched due to the suspected presence of an explosive vest, police sources said.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin will return to Paris immediately after speaking with Prime Minister Jean Castex and President Emmanuel Macron, his office said.
Macron was to attend key ministers in a crisis group set up in the interior ministry, the president’s office said.
The attack comes just days after a supporter of the Islamic State militant group that attacked a police officer outside Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris with a hammer was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
Farid Ikken, 43, charged with officers on patrol outside the cathedral on June 6, 2017, shouting “this is for Syria.”