Teacher beheaded in France after showing Prophet Muhammad cartoons to students, attacker shot dead by police

Anti-terror prosecutors are investigating the attack.

Syahindah Ishak | October 17, 2020, 01:31 PM

A school teacher in Paris was beheaded on Friday (Oct. 16) for showing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad to his students.

Attacker shot dead

The knife-wielding suspect quickly ran off after the attack, according to BBC.

However, local police were immediately at the scene after being alerted by members of the public.

Police confronted the attacker and shouted at him to give himself up.

BBC reported that the man later "threatened" the officers.

He was then shot and died a short time later.

Anti-terror prosecutors in France are investigating the attack.

Four people arrested

Four people related to the attack have been arrested.

French broadcaster BFMTV reported, according to Reuters, that the suspected attacker was 18 years old and born in Moscow.

He was reportedly to have Chechen roots.

Witnesses heard the attacker shout "Allahu Akbar" as police confronted him, a police source said.

He did not have a past record other than for petty criminal acts.

Conducted a class on freedom of expression

The victim had shown the controversial cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in a class on freedom of expression, as reported by Reuters.

The victim was a 47-year-old history-geography professor – the subjects are taught together in France.

He was giving obligatory courses in “moral and civil education”.

It was as part of these, and while talking about freedom of speech, that the professor showed pupils, aged 12 to 14, the caricatures.

This had incited anger among some Muslim families, as the act is considered blasphemous, and sparked complaints from a number of parents.

One family lodged a legal complaint.

"Islamist terrorist attack"

Visiting the scene, French president Emmanuel Macron called the incident a "cowardly attack".

He told reporters at the scene of the attack, according to Reuters:

"One of our fellow citizens was assassinated today because he was teaching, he was teaching pupils about freedom of expression.

Our compatriot was flagrantly attacked, was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack.

They won’t win... We will act. Firmly and quickly. You can count on my determination."

He also said the killer sought to “attack the republic and its values”.

Macron said: “This is our battle and it is existential. They [terrorists] will not succeed... They will not divide us.”

Attack happened as 2015 Charlie Hebdo trial ongoing

Over the past few years, France has seen a number of violent attacks linked to Islamist militants.

Just three weeks ago, two journalists from a film production company were stabbed outside the former offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Paris has been on high alert since.

The infamous Charlie Hebdo killings occurred in 2015.

In the January 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo offices, Islamist terrorists Saïd and Chérif Kouachi gunned down 12 people in and around the premises.

The following day, gunman Amédy Coulibaly shot a policewoman dead and killed four Jewish people at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket.

The Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly were killed in separate shoot-outs with police.

The trial of 14 people suspected of being linked to the January 2015 terror attacks is currently being held in a Paris court and is due to continue until November.

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Top photo by Kiran Ridley via Getty Images.