TANGI SALAUN and GEERT DE CLERCQ
FRENCH police shot dead a man who minutes earlier had killed a middle school teacher by slitting his throat in the street in a suburb of Paris.
The teacher had shown pupils in his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, which are considered by Muslims to be blasphemous, according to a police source.
France’s anti-terror prosecutor said it was investigating the attack, which took place in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, a suburb north-west of Paris.
The suspected attacker was spotted by a police patrol while carrying a knife a short distance from the scene of the attack. The police shot the suspect dead, according to a police spokesman.
A police source said that witnesses had heard the attacker shout “Allah Akbar”, or “God is Great”. The police spokesman said that information was being checked.
Another police source also said the victim had been decapitated in the attack, but this was not confirmed.
France has over the past several years seen a series of violent attacks carried out by Islamist militants.
Late last month, a man who emigrated to France from Pakistan used a meat cleaver to attack and wound two people outside the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
That was the spot where Islamist militants gunned down employees of the magazine five years ago in retaliation for the magazine’s publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.