Otago Daily Times

French teacher be­headed by teen ter­ror­ist

- Crime · Paris · Russia · Twitter · Emmanuel Macron · Muhammad · France · French First Republic · Evreux

PARIS/CON­FLANS­SAIN­TEHONORINE: The teenager who be­headed a teacher out­side the school in a Paris sub­urb where he taught had ap­proached pupils in the street and asked them to point out his vic­tim, an­titer­ror­ism pros­e­cu­tor JeanFran­cois Ri­card said yes­ter­day.

Po­lice shot dead the 18­yearold at­tacker, who was born in Rus­sia, min­utes af­ter he mur­dered 47­year­old his­tory teacher Sa­muel Paty in broad day­light in Con­flans­Sainte­Honorine on Satur­day.

A pho­to­graph of the teacher’s body, ac­com­pa­nied by a mes­sage claim­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity posted on Twit­ter, was dis­cov­ered on the as­sailant’s phone, found near his body. Ri­card said the Twit­ter ac­count be­longed to the at­tacker.

The post was re­moved swiftly by Twit­ter, which said it had sus­pended the ac­count be­cause it vi­o­lated the com­pany’s pol­icy.

Ri­card quoted the mes­sage as say­ing: ‘‘In the name of Al­lah the most gra­cious, the most mer­ci­ful . . . to [Pres­i­dent Em­manuel] Macron, leader of the in­fi­dels, I have ex­e­cuted one of your hell­hounds who dared to be­lit­tle [Prophet] Mo­ham­mad.’’

Paty had shown his pupils car­toons of the Prophet Mo­ham­mad in a class on free­dom of ex­pres­sion this month, an­ger­ing some Mus­lim par­ents. Mus­lims be­lieve any de­pic­tion of the Prophet is blas­phe­mous.

The at­tacker, of Chechen ori­gin, had been liv­ing in the town of Evreux, north­west of Paris, and was not pre­vi­ously known to the in­tel­li­gence ser­vices, Ri­card told a news con­fer­ence.

The killing shocked the coun­try and car­ried echoes of an at­tack five years ago on the of­fices of satir­i­cal mag­a­zine Char­lie Hebdo. Prime Min­is­ter Jean Cas­tex said it bore the hall­marks of Is­lamist ter­ror­ism.

‘‘I want to share with you my to­tal in­dig­na­tion. Sec­u­lar­ism, the back­bone of the French Repub­lic, was tar­geted in this vile act,’’ Cas­tex said.

Ten peo­ple, in­clud­ing some close rel­a­tives of the at­tacker, had been de­tained, re­ports said.

Par­ents of pupils laid flow­ers at the school gate. Some said their chil­dren were dis­traught.

‘‘[My daugh­ter] is in pieces, ter­rorised by the vi­o­lence of such an act. How will I ex­plain to her the un­think­able?’’ one fa­ther wrote on Twit­ter. — Reuters

 ?? PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES ?? Griev­ing . . . Lo­cals gather at the Col­lege Bois d’Aulne mid­dle school in Con­flans­Sainte­Honorine, France, yes­ter­day, the day af­ter one of the teach­ers was de­cap­i­tated by a teenager.
PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES Griev­ing . . . Lo­cals gather at the Col­lege Bois d’Aulne mid­dle school in Con­flans­Sainte­Honorine, France, yes­ter­day, the day af­ter one of the teach­ers was de­cap­i­tated by a teenager.

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