A riot police officer guards the school where a history teacher had discussed caricatures of Islam

A suspect shot useless by police after the grotesque beheading of a historical past trainer in an assault close to Paris was an 18-year-old Chechen, officers mentioned Saturday.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s workplace mentioned that authorities investigating the horrific killing of Samuel Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday have additionally arrested 9 suspects, together with the grandfather, dad and mom and 17-year-old brother of the attacker.

Paty had mentioned caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad together with his class, resulting in threats and a criticism from a dad or mum, police officers mentioned. Islam prohibits photographs of the prophet, contemplating that they result in idolatry. The officers couldn’t be named as a result of they weren’t licensed to debate ongoing investigations.

The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation for homicide with a suspected terrorist motive, the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned.

French leaders provided messages of disappointment but in addition of hope within the hours after the drama.

“We’ll pick ourselves up together, thanks to our spirit of solidarity,” mentioned Laurent Brosse, mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, at a information convention Saturday.

“We are all affected, all touched by this vile assassination,” mentioned Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer in a video message.

A police official mentioned the suspect in Friday’s assault armed was shot useless about 600 meters (yards) from the place Paty died. He was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun — which fires plastic pellets — and police opened hearth after he failed to answer orders to place down his arms, and acted in a threatening method. The official additionally couldn’t be named due to the continuing investigations.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived rapidly on the college on Friday evening to denounce what he referred to as an “Islamist terrorist attack.” He urged the nation to face united in opposition to extremism.

“One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught … the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” Macron mentioned.

The presidential Elysee Palace introduced Saturday that there shall be a nationwide ceremony on a future date in homage to Paty, about whom few particulars have to this point emerged.

In a video posted lately on Twitter, a person describing himself as the daddy of a pupil claimed that Paty had proven a picture of a unadorned man and advised college students it was “the prophet of the Muslims.”

Before displaying the pictures, the trainer requested Muslim youngsters to boost their hand and depart the room as a result of he deliberate to indicate one thing stunning, the person mentioned. The AP has not been capable of independently affirm these claims.

“What was the message he wanted to send these children? What is this hate?” the person requested.

Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim Russian republic within the North Caucasus. Two wars within the 1990s triggered a wave of emigration, with many Chechens heading for western Europe. France has provided asylum to many Chechens for the reason that Russian navy waged struggle in opposition to Islamist separatists in Chechnya within the 1990s and early 2000s.

France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen neighborhood in current months, believed linked to native felony exercise and score-settling.

It is the second time in three weeks that terror has struck France linked to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Last month, a younger man from Pakistan was arrested after attacking two folks with a meat cleaver exterior the previous workplaces of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The weekly was the goal of a lethal newsroom assault in 2015, and it republished caricatures of the prophet this month to underscore the appropriate to freedom of data as a trial opened linked to that assault.

Friday’s terror assault got here as Macron’s authorities works on a invoice to handle Islamic radicals, who authorities declare are making a parallel society exterior the values of the French Republic.

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