Solidarity marches are taking place on Sunday in the French capital, Paris, and elsewhere to commemorate a teacher who was brutally killed by an Islamic extremist on Friday. A crime investigation is ongoing, during which police have arrested several more people.
French people take part in solidarity marches after beheading a teacherUldis Ķezberis00:00 / 02:50
The attack on the Conflan-Sentonorin in the Paris suburb two days ago, during which a young man armed with a knife beheaded Samuel Pati, a local school history teacher, has shocked the whole of France. For many, it evoked memories of a wave of violence by Islamic terrorists in 2015 after the satirical edition of Charlie Hebdo published cartoons with the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
A few weeks before his death, he had shown these cartoons to students about freedom of speech in one of his lessons. This provoked the outrage and anger of some parents of Islamic students. The French anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office has stated that itself has received death threats online.
The French government sees the murder of a teacher as an attack on the values of the nation. French Minister of Education Jean Michel Blanche has called on everyone in the country to show solidarity and the unity of the nation after the shocking attack. On Sunday afternoon, people began to gather in the Republic Square in Paris to condemn the teacher’s murder and to confirm that they were not afraid to confront Islamic radicals.
Similar demonstrations were planned in Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes, Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux, the AFP news agency reported.
On Saturday, hundreds of people laid flowers and lit candles at the school where Pati worked. Many of them had posters with the words “I am a teacher”. It mimics the slogan “I am Charlie”, which became a symbol after the deadly attack on the Paris edition of Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.
The teacher was attacked by 18-year-old Chechen immigrant Abdullah Anzorov, who was later shot by police in pursuit. Law enforcement officers took a photograph of himself and a message in which he confessed to the murder on the man’s smartphone. Law enforcement does not reveal whether the attacker had a connection with the school where the victim worked, his students or their parents. It is also not disclosed whether Anzorov acted alone.
The prosecutor’s office has revealed that the man was armed with a knife and a pneumatic weapon during the attack. When the police tried to catch him, the killer shot him and tried to stab them.
Shortly after the attack, police detained four relatives of the killer. Later, five more people were detained, including the father of a student himself, who had published the teacher’s name and work address on social networks. He also wanted to get himself fired. Along with the schoolgirl’s father, an Islamic radical who had previously come to the attention of the French intelligence services was also arrested. At least 11 people have been arrested so far in connection with the murder of a teacher.
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