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13 Oct, 2023 12:06

Teacher killed in stabbing attack at French school

The suspect, an ethnic Chechen and former student, has reportedly been detained
Teacher killed in stabbing attack at French school

A teacher has been killed and two other people wounded in a stabbing attack at a French school. A 20-year-old ethnic Chechen has been arrested in connection with the incident on Friday, according to local media.

The attack happened at the Gambetta high school in the city of Arras in northern France. Senior government officials, including President Emmanuel Macron, have traveled to the city following the incident.

The attacker reportedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he targeted school employees at approximately 11am local time, according to French media. He was later identified as a 20-year-old former student, local media reported, citing police sources.

According to Le Figaro, the perpetrator is an ethnic Chechen who was previously flagged by law enforcement as a serious threat to national security. The suspect’s brother, who was not present at the scene of the attack, has reportedly also been detained. France’s National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office has been tasked with handling the case.

The deceased victim worked as a literature teacher, while another teacher and a guard were seriously injured, with the latter said to be in a critical condition, according to reports.

The stabbing attack comes three days before the anniversary of the 2020 murder of geography professor Samuel Paty in the Paris suburb of Eragny-sur-Oise. Paty was stabbed by an 18-year-old Russian immigrant of Chechen descent, who was later killed by police.

Paty’s killer had been radicalized into Islamist ideology and had sought to avenge perceived insults against his religion. He targeted Paty for his lessons on the controversy surrounding cartoons of Prophet Mohammed and the 2015 terrorist attack on the satirical journal Charlie Hebdo, which had reprinted them.