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The French president describes it as a "cowardly attack", saying the man was killed because he "taught the freedom of expression".


Terror inquiry after teacher beheaded near Paris


Terror inquiry after teacher beheaded near Paris

BBC::A teacher has been beheaded in a north-western suburb of Paris, with the attacker shot dead by police.

The victim is said to have shown controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to his students.

The attack occurred at about 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT) near a school. Anti-terror prosecutors are investigating.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the scene, calling the killing an “Islamist terrorist attack”.

Mr Macron said he was murdered because he “taught freedom of expression”. The victim has not been named.

The knife-wielding attacker was shot as officers tried to arrest him in the aftermath of the attack. Police have not released any personal details about him.

A trial is currently under way in Paris over a 2015 Islamist assault on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was targeted for publishing the cartoons.

Three weeks ago, a man attacked and wounded two people outside the magazine’s former offices.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, the attacker was an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin, who was carrying a knife.

He is believed to have been shot after he refused to put down his gun.

A gun was found at his side. Other reports say it was an airsoft gun that fired plastic pellets.

The country’s anti-terror prosecutor earlier called the incident a stabbing, but both the Reuters and AP news agencies said police sources told them the victim was decapitated.

Witnesses heard the attacker shout Allahu Akbar, or God is greater, Reuters said.

The teacher had reportedly shown images of the Prophet Muhammad in class during a discussion about freedom of expression about 10 days ago.

The suspect did not have a child at the school, AP said.

A Twitter thread posted last Friday alleged pupils had been shown cartoons of the prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam.

Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer tweeted that the republic had been attacked through the “despicable assassination of one of its servants”.

He added that “unity and firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism”.

It is the second terrorism-related incident since the opening of an ongoing trial on the newsroom massacre in January 2015 at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo after the publication of caricatures of the prophet of Islam.

As the trial opened, the paper republished caricatures of the prophet to underscore the right of freedom of expression.

Exactly three weeks ago, a young man from Pakistan was arrested after stabbing, outside the newspaper’s former offices, two people who suffered non life-threatening injuries.

The 18-year-old told police he was upset about the publication of the caricatures.

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