French police arrest nine after teacher beheaded

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 19, 2020

In it, he said the teacher had shown the cartoons of Muhammad and that his daughter, a Muslim, had been disciplined for expressing her displeasure.

French Jewish groups called on their supporters to join the rally, which focused on safeguarding freedom of expression.

Ricard said Samuel had sustained multiple injuries and that an investigation for murder with a suspected terrorist motive, had been opened.

The beheading has upset moderate French Muslims, and a group of imams in the Lyon region held a special meeting to discuss what the group called "the appalling assassination of our compatriot by a terrorist who in the name of an uncertain faith committed the irreparable". "It is time to take real action to eradicate this danger that comes from within".

Commemorative rallies were held in many other cities across France, including Orleans, Toulouse, Lyon and Grenoble, where large crowds of people gathered near the mayoral offices.

Paty's killing shocked the country and brought back memories of a wave of Islamist violence in 2015 that started with the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

People gathered at the site of the attack on Saturday.

Ahead of Sunday's gathering, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer called on "everyone to support the teachers", telling broadcaster France 2 that it was vital to show "our solidarity and unity".

Politicians from across the political spectrum are present at the gathering at Place de la République including Stanislas Guerini (The Republic en Marche), Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France Insoumise), Olivier Faure (Socialist Party), Julien Bayou (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

Police said they were investigating a tweet posted from an account that showed a picture of the teacher's head, and which has since been shut down.

Depictions of the prophet are widely regarded as taboo in Islam.

A man lays a flower outside the school where a slain history teacher was working, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris.

Staff at the school sought to resolve the row.

The schoolgirl's father and a known Islamist militant are among 10 people arrested.

Police have detained 11 people in relation to the case, including four of the attacker's relatives, as well as the parent who launched a campaign against the teacher, and some of his acquaintances.

The anti-terrorism prosecutor did not say, however, whether the alleged attacker had any links to the school, students or parents, or if he had acted independently.

The assailant, whose identity has not been established, was shot by police as they tried to arrest him and later died of his injuries, police said.

Thousands of battle-hardened Chechen refugees, including many devout Muslims, entered France in the early 2000s following two bloody wars against Russian Federation.

A Pakistani man who entered France under a false identity confessed to stabbing two journalists who work for a video production company in the same building as Charlie Hebdo's former office.

French anti-terrorism prosecutors said they were treating the assault as "a murder linked to a terrorist organisation". Five more were detained overnight, among them two parents of pupils at the College du Bois d'Aulne where the teacher was employed.

"I am here as a teacher, as a mother, as a Frenchwoman and as a republican", said participant Virginie.

A parent of one of Paty's students told France's AFP news agency that, according to his son, the teacher had told Muslim students to leave the classroom ahead of the lesson and that he "didn't want to hurt their feelings".

On Sunday, ministers who form France's defence council will meet to discuss the killing, while a public mourning event is planned for Wednesday.

The presidential Elysee Palace announced that there will be a national ceremony on a future date in homage to Mr Paty, about whom few details have so far emerged.

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