Crescent Kashmir

Teacher stabbed to death in attack at French school

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ARRAS: A man of Chechen origin stabbed to death a teacher and severely wounded two other adults Friday at a school in north-eastern France, with prosecutors opening a probe into a suspected act of terror.

The attack in the town of Arras comes with France, which has large Jewish and Muslim populations, on high alert for security risks following the Hamas raid on Israel last weekend.

The attacker, 20, who has not been named, was from Russia’s mainly Muslim southern Caucasus region of Chechnya and was already on a French national register known as “Fiche S” as a potential security threat, a police source, said.

Those wounded were a school security agent who was stabbed multiple times and fighting for his life and a teacher who is in a less serious condition, the source added.

No pupil at the school was hurt, said another police source.

The attack comes almost three years to the day after the October 16, 2020 beheading of teacher Samuel Paty, also by a Chechen, near his school in a Paris suburb.

The suspect in Friday’s violence has been detained by police, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

His brother, aged 17, was detained close to another school, a third police source added.

Panic in school

Local police said that the situation had been contained and no longer posed a danger to the public. The school pupils and the teachers were confined to the school premises.

A large security cordon was set up around the school, where the police, firefighters and emergency services were deployed, a journalists said.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2023

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