Man decapitated near Paris, anti-terror probe under way: prosecutors

Clay Curtis
October 16, 2020

A history teacher who opened a discussion with students on caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad was decapitated in a French street on Friday and police have shot the suspected killer dead, a police official said.

Actu17, a news site with links to French law enforcement and Europe-wide radio network Europe1 both report the victim in the beheading was a teacher who had shown cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed during a class, and that this may have been the motivation for the killing. They said they were treating the incident as "a murder linked to a terrorist organisation".

Last month, a man who emigrated to France from Pakistan attacked and wounded two people using a meat cleaver outside the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The trial has sparked protests across France, with thousands of demonstrators rallying against Charlie Hebdo and the French government.

A police spokesman confirmed he was then shot dead.

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A police source said that witnesses had heard the attacker shout "Allah Akbar", or "God is Great", but police have not verified this account, according to reports.

The scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosives vest, the source said.

France's anti-terror prosecutor said it was investigating the attack, which took place in Conflans Sainte-Honorine.

Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said he had set up a crisis centre and was keeping President Macron informed.

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