PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he referred to as an “Islamist terrorist assault” towards a historical past trainer decapitated in a Paris suburb Friday, urging the nation to face united towards extremism.
The trainer had mentioned caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad along with his class, authorities mentioned. The suspected attacker was shot to loss of life by police after Friday’s beheading.
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation regarding homicide with a suspected terrorist motive, the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned.
Macron visited the varsity the place the trainer labored within the city of Conflans-Saint-Honorine and met with workers after the slaying. An Related Press reporter noticed three ambulances arrive on the scene, and closely armed police surrounding the realm and police vans lining leafy close by streets.
“One in every of our compatriots was murdered right now as a result of he taught … the liberty of expression, the liberty to imagine or not imagine,” Macron mentioned.
He mentioned the assault shouldn’t divide France as a result of that’s what the extremists need. “We should stand all collectively as residents,” he mentioned.
The ugly killing of the trainer occurred within the city of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine whereas the suspect was killed by police in adjoining Eragny.
A police official mentioned the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun — which fires plastic pellets — was shot useless about 600 meters (yards) from the place the male trainer was killed after he failed to answer orders to place down his arms, and acted in a threatening method.
The trainer had acquired threats after opening a dialogue “for a debate” in regards to the caricatures about 10 days in the past, the police official informed The Related Press. The guardian of a pupil had filed a criticism towards the trainer, one other police official mentioned, including that the suspected killer didn’t have a baby on the faculty. The suspect’s identification was not made public.
The suspect’s identification was not made public. French media reported that the suspect was an 18-year-old Chechen, born in Moscow. That info couldn’t be instantly confirmed.
The 2 officers couldn’t be named as a result of they weren’t approved to debate ongoing investigations.
France has provided asylum to many Chechens for the reason that Russian navy waged struggle towards Islamist separatists in Chechnya within the 1990s and early 2000s, and there are Chechen communities scattered round France.
France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen group in current months, within the Dijon area, the Mediterranean metropolis of Good, and the western city of Saint-Dizier, believed linked to native felony exercise.
The assault got here as Macron is pushing for a brand new legislation towards what he calls home “separatism,” notably by Islamic radicals accused of indoctrinating weak folks by dwelling faculties, extremist preaching and different actions.
France has the most important Muslim inhabitants in Western Europe with as much as 5 million members, and Islam is the nation’s No. 2 faith.
“We did not see this coming,” Conflans resident Remi Inform mentioned on CNews TV station. He described the city as peaceable.
It was the second terrorism-related incident for the reason that opening of an ongoing trial on the newsroom bloodbath in Jan. 2015 on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo after the publication of caricatures of the prophet of Islam.
Because the trial opened, the paper republished caricatures of the prophet to underscore the fitting of freedom of expression. Precisely three weeks in the past, a younger man from Pakistan was arrested after stabbing, exterior the newspaper’s former workplaces, two individuals who suffered non life-threatening accidents. The 18-year-old informed police he was upset in regards to the publication of the caricatures.
The incident got here as Macron’s authorities is engaged on a invoice to deal with Islamist radicals who authorities declare are making a parallel society exterior the values of the French Republic.
Michel Euler in Conflans-Saint-Honorine and Nicolas Vaux-Montagny in Lyon contributed to this report.
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