In what is being treated as an act of terror by French prosecutors, a teenager beheaded a teacher in northern Paris in Conflans-Saint-Honorine at around 5 p.m. local time.
In a video posted recently on social media, a man describing himself as a father at the school said the teacher who was slain had recently shown an offensive image of a man and told students it was "the prophet of the Muslims".
The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation for murder with a suspected terrorist motive.
The police spokesman said this information was being checked.
The attack came as French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a new law against what he calls domestic "separatism", notably by Islamic radicals accused of indoctrinating vulnerable people through home schools, extremist preaching and other activities. Macron, who met with school staff members, said the teacher was "the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack".
The president said France would "protect and defend" its teachers. An official told the news agency that the parent of a student had filed a complaint against the teacher.
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They discovered the dead man and soon spotted the suspect, armed with a blade, who threatened them as they tried to arrest him. He later died of his injuries, a judicial source said.
A view shows the scene of a stabbing attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honourine, France October 16, 2020.
The scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the presence of a vest suspected to be packed with explosives, the source said.
Less than a month ago, a man originally from Pakistan used a meat cleaver to attack and wound two people who were on a cigarette break outside the offices where Charlie Hebdo was based at the time of the 2015 attack.
Friday's attack comes amid the historic trial of 14 alleged accomplices in the January 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper that had previously published cartoons that depicted the likeness of Muhammad, which is strictly prohibited by the Muslim faith.
Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer reacted to the incident on Twitter.