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Tribute planned for beheaded teacher in France; 11th person arrested

PARIS (Reuters) – An 11th person was detained on Sunday, police said as authorities investigated the murder of Samuel Paty, a history teacher who was beheaded by a suspected Islamist in an attack that stunned the country.

The satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were attacked in a massacre five years ago, was among groups organizing a tribute to Paty in Paris in the afternoon.

The 47-year-old teacher was killed Friday outside his school in a Paris suburb by an 18-year-old attacker. The attacker, who was born in Russia of Chechen origin, was shot by police shortly after the attack.

Earlier this month, the teacher had shown his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of speech and angered a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any portrayal of the Prophet is blasphemous.

The government has portrayed the killing as an attack on the heart of French values.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and politicians from across the spectrum were to attend Sunday̵

7;s memorial service in central Paris. A national tribute will be held for Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron’s office said.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government was working on a strategy to better protect teachers from threats. Paty had been the target of an angry campaign on social media before the attack.

“I want teachers to know that the whole country is behind them after this invalid act,” Castex told the Journal du Dimanche in an interview.

“This tragedy affects every one of us because through this teacher it is the Republic that was attacked.”

There were no details about the 11th person to be detained in connection with the killing.

Four close relatives of the attacker were detained shortly after the attack. Five more were later detained, including the father of a student at Pathy’s school and an acquaintance of the student’s father who was known to the intelligence services, terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said Saturday.

A 10th person was arrested later on Saturday.

Macron was due to hold a security meeting with key ministers later on Sunday, his office said.

On Saturday, hundreds of people, including students and their parents, teachers and local residents, came to express their grief and solidarity in front of the school where Paty worked, the College du Bois d’Aulnein in the suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; editing by Frances Kerry)

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