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First picture of teacher beheaded after showing class cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad

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First picture of teacher beheaded after showing class cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad
Samuel Paty was repeatedly stabbed by an 18-year-old man shortly after leaving school on Friday (Picture: Getty)

The teacher beheaded in a Paris suburb after reportedly showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class has been named.

Samuel Paty, 47, who taught history and geography at the College du Bois d’Aulne in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, was attacked on Friday evening by an 18-year-old man who was shot dead by police minutes later.

Mr Paty is said to have shown pupils controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during a citizenship class earlier this month.

Before showing the images he reportedly advised Muslim students to leave the classroom if they thought they might be offended. It prompted a number of parents to demand his resignation, reports suggest.

Samuel Paty
The teacher has been named as 47-year-old Samuel Paty

The 18-year-old killer, of Chechen origin, repeatedly stabbed Mr Paty after he left the school before beheading him with a large meat cleaver.

A police source said that witnesses had heard the attacker shout ‘Allahu Akbar’, or ‘God is Great’.

Investigators were seeking to establish whether he acted alone or had accomplices.

Four relatives of the attacker, including a minor, were detained in the immediate aftermath of the murder in the middle-class suburb, according to police sources.

Five more were held overnight, among them two parents of pupils at the school where Mr Paty was employed.

Parents of pupils laid flowers at the college gate. Some said their children were distraught.

Adults and children talk next to flowers displayed at the entrance of a middle school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, 30kms northwest of Paris, on October 17, 2020, after a teacher was decapitated by an attacker who has been shot dead by policemen. - The man suspected of beheading on October 16 ,2020 a French teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the prophet Mohammed was an 18-year-old born in Moscow and originating from Russia's southern region of Chechnya, a judicial source said on October 17. Five more people have been detained over the murder on October 16 ,2020 outside Paris, including the parents of a child at the school where the teacher was working, bringing to nine the total number currently under arrest, said the source, who asked not to be named. The attack happened at around 5 pm (1500 GMT) near a school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a western suburb of the French capital. The man who was decapitated was a history teacher who had recently shown caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in class. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP) (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)
Adults and children talk next to flowers displayed at the school entrance (Picture: AFP via Getty)
Adults and children stand in front of flowers displayed at the entrance of a middle school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, 30kms northwest of Paris, on October 17, 2020, after a teacher was decapitated by an attacker who has been shot dead by policemen. - The man suspected of beheading on October 16 ,2020 a French teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the prophet Mohammed was an 18-year-old born in Moscow and originating from Russia's southern region of Chechnya, a judicial source said on October 17. Five more people have been detained over the murder on October 16 ,2020 outside Paris, including the parents of a child at the school where the teacher was working, bringing to nine the total number currently under arrest, said the source, who asked not to be named. The attack happened at around 5 pm (1500 GMT) near a school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a western suburb of the French capital. The man who was decapitated was a history teacher who had recently shown caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in class. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP) (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)
Mourners at the school in Conflans Saint-Honorine (Picture: AFP via Getty)

One father wrote on Twitter: ‘(My daughter) is in pieces, terrorised by the violence of such an act. How will I explain to her the unthinkable?’

In an outpouring of grief, the hashtag #JeSuisSamuel (I am Samuel) trended on social media, like the #JeSuisCharlie call for solidarity after the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

During a visit to the college, French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters: ‘One of our fellow citizens was assassinated today because he was teaching, he was teaching pupils about freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe.

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‘Our compatriot was cowardly attacked, was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack.’

He added: ‘It is not a coincidence if tonight a teacher was struck, because the terrorist wanted to attack the values of the Republic, its light, the possibility to make our children, no matter where they come from, no matter what they believe or not believe, no matter what their religion is, to make them free citizens.

‘That battle is our battle and it’s an existential one.’

TOPSHOT - French police officers stand guard a street in Eragny on October 16, 2020, where an attacker was shot dead by policemen after he decapitated a man earlier on the same day in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. - French anti-terror prosecutors said Friday they were investigating an assault in which a man was decapitated on the outskirts of Paris and the attacker shot by police. The attack happened at around 5 pm (1500 GMT) near a school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a western suburb of the French capital. The man who was decapitated was a history teacher who had recently shown caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in class. French prosecutors are treating the attack as a terror incident, which coincides with the trial of alleged accomplices of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attackers and comes weeks after a man injured two people he thought worked for the magazine. (Photo by ABDULMONAM EASSA / AFP) (Photo by ABDULMONAM EASSA/AFP via Getty Images)
French police officers stand guard a street in Eragny (Picture: AFP via Getty)

More than a dozen people are standing trial in Paris accused of being accomplices in the 2015 attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had published the cartoons.

The paper republished them on the eve of the trial, in an apparent show of defiance and to underscore the right of freedom of expression.

Soon afterwards, two people were wounded in a knife attack outside the satirical magazine’s former offices. The teenage attacker told police he was upset about the publication of the cartoons.

Muslim leaders condemned the latest killing, which many public figures perceived as an attack on the essence of French statehood and its values of secularism, freedom of worship and freedom of expression.

The litany of deadly attacks by Islamist militants or their sympathisers was devastating for France’s Muslim community, Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque, said.

He told France Inter radio: ‘Every day that passes without incident we give thanks.

‘We are between hammer and anvil. It attacks the Republic, society, peace and the very essence of religion, which is about togetherness.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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