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Stabbing Death Of Teacher Prompts Terrorism Investigation In France

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PARIS (AP) — A person armed with a knife killed a instructor at the highschool in northern France he as soon as attended and critically wounded one other instructor and a safety guard Friday, authorities mentioned, an assault being investigated as potential terrorism amid hovering world tensions over the warfare between Israel and Hamas.

French anti-terror prosecutors mentioned they had been main the investigation into the assault on the Gambetta highschool within the metropolis of Arras, some 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of Paris. They mentioned they had been investigating expenses together with terror-related homicide and tried homicide in opposition to the suspect, who was arrested.

Nationwide police mentioned the suspected assailant was a Russian nationwide of Chechen origin. The French intelligence providers mentioned the suspect had been carefully watched for the reason that summer time with tails and phone surveillance and was stopped as not too long ago as Thursday for a police examine that discovered no wrongdoing.

Sliman Hamzi, a police officer who was one of many first on the scene mentioned the suspected attacker, a former pupil on the faculty, shouted “Allahu akbar,” or “God is nice” in Arabic.

A student is comforted by a relative as he leaves Gambetta high school in Arras.
A pupil is comforted by a relative as he leaves Gambetta highschool in Arras.
FRANCOIS LO PRESTI through Getty Photographs

Hamzi mentioned he was alerted by one other officer who was passing in entrance of the highschool and referred to as in. He “was shouting ‘somebody is attacking with a knife,’” Hamzi mentioned

Hamzi mentioned he rushed to the college and noticed a male sufferer mendacity on the bottom outdoors the college and the attacker being taken away.

“Colleagues arrived shortly however sadly couldn’t save the sufferer,” Hamzi mentioned.

Police mentioned two different males, a second instructor and a safety guard, had been in vital conidtion.

College assaults are uncommon in France. President Emmanuel Macron was heading to the scene together with the inside and training ministers, and the federal government requested authorities to intensify vigilance in any respect faculties throughout the nation.

Julie Duhamel, an official with the the Unsa lecturers’ union within the Pas-de-Calais area that features Arras, advised Franceinfo that lecturers had famous the suspect’s radicalization “just a few years in the past.”

Tons of of police deployed across the faculty and close by neighborhoods, together with closely armed items, and barricaded a large perimeter across the faculty. Mother and father mentioned pupils had been nonetheless confined to the locked-down faculty greater than three hours after the assault.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at the Gambetta high school in Arras on Oct. 13.
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives on the Gambetta highschool in Arras on Oct. 13.
LUDOVIC MARIN through Getty Photographs

Friday’s assault got here three years after a instructor was beheaded outdoors a faculty in suburban Paris. Samuel Paty, a historical past and geography instructor, was murdered on Oct 16, 2020 — additionally a Friday — by an 18-year-old who had turn out to be radicalized. Just like the suspect in Friday’s stabbings, that attacker was of Chechen background.

Martin Doussau, a philosophy instructor on the Gambetta highschool, mentioned the attacker seemed to be looking for a historical past instructor.

“I used to be chased by the attacker who … requested me if I train historical past. (He mentioned), ‘Are you a historical past instructor, are you a historical past instructor?’” mentioned Doussau, who recounted how he barricaded himself behind a door till police used a stun gun to subdue the attacker.

“When he rotated and requested me if I’m a historical past instructor, I instantly considered Samuel Paty,” Doussau advised reporters.

The assault got here amid heightened tensions all over the world over Hamas’ weekend assault on southern Israel and Israel’s navy response, which have killed a whole lot of civilians on each side. There have been calls in Muslim nations for mass protests after Friday prayers over Israel’s intense bombing marketing campaign in Gaza.

French Inside Minister Gerard Darmanin on Thursday ordered native authorities to ban all pro-Palestinian demonstrations amid an increase in antisemitic acts for the reason that Hamas assault.

France is estimated to have the world’s third-largest Jewish inhabitants after Israel and the U.S., and the biggest Muslim inhabitants in Western Europe.

A vp of France’s decrease home of parliament, Naima Moutchou, mentioned the Nationwide Meeting “expresses its solidarity and ideas for the victims, their households and the tutorial group as we study {that a} instructor has been killed and several other others have been injured.″

Petrequin reported from Brussels. Michel Spingler in Arras, France contributed.

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