A history teacher who opened a discussion with students on caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad was decapitated in a French street and police have shot the suspected killer dead, a police official said.
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into Friday’s incident, which took place in the Conflans Sainte-Honorine suburb northwest of Paris.
A police official – speaking on the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press – said the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, was shot to death by police about 600 metres (656 yards) from where the male middle school teacher was killed.
Police on Twitter advised the public to avoid the area. Prime Minister Jean Castex was reportedly heading to the scene of the attack.
The mayor of Eragny, Thibault Humbert, praised “the speed with which police neutralised the individual” on Twitter.
France has over the past several years seen a series of violent attacks.
Late last month, a man who emigrated to France from Pakistan used a meat cleaver to attack and wound two people outside the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
That was the spot where armed men gunned down employees of the magazine five years ago in retaliation for the magazine’s publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.