A terror investigation has been launched after a teacher was killed in a gruesome attack near Paris on Friday, officials said, adding that police later killed the attacker.
A middle school history teacher was attacked in the streets of Conflans Sainte-Honorine, a suburb north-west of Paris.
French newspaper Le Parisien identified the vicitm as “Samuel P.”, who had reportedly opened up a discussion on caricatures of the prophet Mohammed with his students.
Police responded to reports of a “suspicious man” loitering near the school. Officers saw a man with a knife in the area shortly after the attack.
Police shot and killed the suspect after he did not respond to requests to drop his weapon, Reuters reported.
A police source said that witnesses had heard the attacker shout “Allah Akbar”, or “God is Great,” but police have not verified this account, according to reports. Prosecutors said they were treating the attack as “a murder linked to a terrorist organization.”
France’s interior minister Gerald Darmanin, who had been traveling to Morocco, is returning to France as a matter of urgency.
Initial reports stated that the teacher had been beheaded, but subsequent reports have said that the attacker instead slit the teacher’s throat. Police have yet to verify the state of the victim.
The attack is another in a series in Paris connected to issues of the Islamic faith.
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.
Charlie Hebdo itself had been the site of an attack in January 2015, which resulted in a dozen dead and almost as many injured after two gunmen entered the offices after it published a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed.
In Islam, depcitions of the prophet are a contentious issue, with many believing it is forbidden.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
This is a developing story; check back for updates.