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Knife-wielding man accused of beheading teacher is shot by police in Paris suburb

Police in a Paris suburb shot to death a man seen carrying a knife that authorities believe may have been used to kill another man found nearby.

The shooting of the suspect, 18, occurred around 5 p.m. local time on Friday in the town of Eragny in the Val d’Oise. France’s Anti-Terror Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to ABC News that it has opened an investigation into whether the killing is linked to terrorism.

The victim was beheaded, authorities said. He was a male teacher at a local middle school who had received threats after mentioning the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson, according to police. The lesson prompted a complaint from one of the parents.

Speaking Friday night from the middle school, French President Emmanuel Macron said the teacher was the victim of a “blatant Islamist terrorist attack.”

“One of our fellow citizens … was murdered today for teaching, for teaching students freedom of speech, freedom to believe and not to believe,” he said. “It is no coincidence that this evening it is a teacher that this terrorist killed because he wanted to bring down the Republic in its values.”

Macron promised a swift response from the government.

“They will not divide us,” he said. “This is what they are looking for and we must all stand together, citizens.”

Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer reacted to the incident on Twitter.

“Tonight, it is the Republic that is under attack with the vile assassination of one of its servants, a professor,” he said. “I think tonight of him, of his family. Our unity and firmness are the only answers to the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism. We will stand up.”

Eragny Mayor Thibault Humbert also responded, in an interview on local TV BFMTV.

“It is a very important emotion for us, for the inhabitants of our town,” he said. “I want to have a thought for the family of this professor who was brutally murdered.”

The offices of Charlie Hebdo underwent a terror attack in January 2015 that killed 12 people, including eight journalists from the satirical magazine. The trial for the attack is currently underway.

France’s counterterror police opened an investigation after a stabbing attack in front of the former offices of Charlie Hebdo last month left two wounded.

Charlie Hebdo expressed “horror and revolt” over the death of the teacher in a statement released on Twitter: “We express our deepest support to his family, loved ones and all of the teachers. This foul act grieves our democracy but must make us more combative than ever to defend our Freedom.”

Source:

abcnews.go.com

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