An attacker beheaded a history teacher in France who recently showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
Witnesses watched the man behead his victim – who was also male – in broad daylight near the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.
Police officers rushed to the scene after the alarm went off and the killer fled towards the north-western Parisian parish of Eragny-sur-Oise.
The attacker was later shot dead by police near Paris when they tried to arrest him and he died of his injuries.
He is believed to be an 18-year-old Chechen man who was born in Moscow.
French counterterrorism prosecutors said they treated the attack as “murder related to a terrorist organization” and related to a “criminal association with terrorists”.
French President Emmanuel Macron was due to visit the site of the attack later on Friday, his office said.
The attack occurred on the outskirts of Paris around 5 p.m. local time near a school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a north-western suburb about 30 kilometers from the center of the French capital.
According to a police source, the victim was a history teacher at a local middle school who recently spoke in class about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” when confronted by the police, a police source said.
The Muslim phrase “good is greater” has often been heard in jihadist attacks.
The scene was cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit was dropped on suspicion of the presence of an explosive vest, the police said.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who was visiting Morocco at the time of the attack, should return to Paris immediately after speaking with Macron and Prime Minister Jean Castex, his office said.
Macron briefly joined key ministers in a crisis group set up at the Home Office, the president’s office said before traveling to the site of the attack.
The French parliament suspended the debate on Friday after the news of the beheading. Session President Hugue Renson was visibly moved and described the attack as “hideous”.
The MPs stood as Renson said that “on behalf of all of us I want to honor the memory of the victim.”
The attack comes just days after a supporter of the Islamic State militant group who attacked a police officer with a hammer in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
Last month charges were brought against a 25-year-old Pakistani man who wounded two people with a meat cleaver in revenge for the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
The attacker seriously injured two employees of a television production agency whose offices are in the same block that used to be Charlie Hebdo. Both survived.
The attack came three weeks after an ongoing trial of alleged accomplices of the authors of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in January 2015, which also resulted in a police officer being gunned down in the street.
17 people were killed in the three-day killing spree that heralded a wave of Islamist violence in France that has so far killed more than 250 people.
The process has sparked protests across France. Thousands of demonstrators have gathered against Charlie Hebdo and the French government.
Police arrived at the scene Friday after receiving a call about a suspect loitering near the school, a police source said.
There they found the dead man and saw nearby the suspect armed with a knife-like weapon who threatened them when they tried to arrest him.
They opened fire and seriously injured him, the source said. The man later died of his injuries, a court source said.
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