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Tragedy Strikes French School: Teacher Murdered, Terrorism Suspected

French authorities have been placed on high alert following a tragic school stabbing in France, in which a teacher was brutally killed by an ex-student suspected of Islamic radicalization. In response, the French government has mobilized 7,000 soldiers to enhance security across the nation.

Tragedy Strikes French School: Teacher Murdered, Terrorism Suspected Image Source

French authorities have been placed on high alert following a tragic school stabbing in France, in which a teacher was brutally killed by an ex-student suspected of Islamic radicalization. In response, the French government has mobilized 7,000 soldiers to enhance security across the nation.

The assailant, armed with a knife, tragically stabbed a teacher to death and left three others wounded at the Gambetta-Carnot School in Arras city. This incident is currently under investigation for potential terrorism, evoking painful memories of the 2020 beheading of teacher Samuel Paty, who was targeted for showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad to his students.

The suspected attacker, of Chechen origin and a former student at the school, had been under surveillance by intelligence agencies due to concerns of radicalization. He is currently in custody, along with several others, as stated by prosecutors. Silman Hamzi, a police officer who was the first to arrive at the scene, reported that the assailant shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he initiated the attack.

The deceased teacher, Dominique Bernard, taught French language at the Gambetta-Carnot school, which caters to students aged 11-18. Another teacher, a cleaning worker, and a security guard are in critical condition due to the stabbing, according to police and a counter-terrorism prosecutor.

In response to this tragic event, the French government has heightened the national threat alert. President Emmanuel Macron has ordered the deployment of up to 7,000 soldiers across the country until further notice to bolster security and vigilance.

"The decision has been made not to give in to terror," stressed Macron. We must remain together and keep in mind that the struggle against ignorance is centered on education and the dissemination of information.

As the school reopened, some students and staff returned under police protection. Classes remained canceled, but the school reopened for those seeking support or coming together in the wake of this traumatic event. The attack sent shockwaves through France, occurring amidst global tensions sparked by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

 The motive of the suspected attacker remains unclear, and he is reportedly refusing to cooperate with investigators. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin mentioned that he was detained for questioning based on monitoring his recent phone calls, but no signs of an imminent attack were found.

Additionally, French intelligence agencies suggested a potential link between the Israel-Hamas war and the stabbing incident. There have been at least 12 detentions near schools and places of worship since the Hamas attack.

France, home to the world's third-largest Jewish population after Israel and the United States, also boasts the largest Muslim population in Western Europe. In response to unrest related to the Israel-Hamas war and a surge in anti-Semitic activities, Darmanin has banned pro-Palestinian protests. He further urged authorities to tighten security around Jewish schools, synagogues, and other sites while stating that people who defy the ban should be arrested to prevent disruptions to public order.

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Since the Hamas attack, the Macron administration has reported 24 arrests in connection with more than 100 anti-Semitic events in France. Near Jewish schools, several people were found carrying knives, and a drone was seen flying above a Jewish cultural institution. An internet monitoring group has received almost 2,000 reports of anti-Semitic speech.

Notably, President Macron mentioned that 13 French citizens were killed in Israel during the Hamas attack, and 17 others are missing, believed to have been captured and taken hostage by militants. The Paris prosecutor's office has launched an investigation into these suspected kidnappings.

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