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Nine arrested in France over beheading of teacher

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The source said the killing was carried out by an 18-year-old Chechen, who was then shot and killed by police near the scene in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris.

French police have arrested nine people over the beheading of a teacher near his school in a Paris suburb, a judicial source said on Saturday, in what President Emmanuel Macron labeled an Islamist terror attack.

Police said the victim was 47-year-old history teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown his pupils some cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as part of a class discussion on freedom of expression — a lesson that had prompted complaints from parents.

Two of the suspect’s brothers and his grandparents were initially detained by police for questioning.

The judicial source told AFP Saturday that five more people had been detained, including the parents of a child at the school and friends of the suspect.

According to the source, the parents had signaled their disagreement with the teacher’s decision to show the cartoons.

The attack came as a trial is in progress over the January 2015 massacre at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, which had published caricatures of the prophet Mohammed that unleashed a wave of anger across the Islamic world.

The magazine republished the cartoons in the run-up to the trial in September and last month a young Pakistani man wounded two people with a meat cleaver outside its former offices.

– ‘Will not win’ –

Documents found on the beheading suspect showed he was an 18-year-old born in Moscow but from Russia’s southern region of Chechnya.

The attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) as police confronted him, a cry often heard in jihadist attacks, a police source said.

There had been no previous indication that he was a potentially radical, a source close to the investigation said.

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