Paris: A History teacher in France who showed caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in class was on Friday beheaded, reported AFP. The assailant has been shot dead, the police and prosecutors said.
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, condemned what he termed a "Islamist terrorist attack" and urged the country to stand together against extremism.
The teacher had spoken with his class regarding caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad as part of a civics lesson, officials said. Mr Macron said that as yet unnamed teacher was murdered because he taught the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe.
The attack occurred near a school at approximately 17:00 local time. There are anti-terror lawyers investigating. In the aftermath of the attack, the knife-wielding attacker was shot as police attempted to apprehend him.
No personal information about him were released by the police, although the French media claimed that he was an 18-year-old man of Chechen descent who was born in Moscow. The teacher was assaulted by a man wearing a large knife on a street in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, cutting his head off.
The victim, a teacher of history and geography In his class cartoons, presented pupils of Prophet Muhammad, which is viewed as blasphemy by Muslims. Muslim students were allegedly told by the teacher to leave the room if they felt they would be offended.
The attack occurred on the street in front of the middle school where the victim worked.Since opening a discussion 'for a debate' about the caricatures about 10 days ago, the teacher received threats, the police official told The Associated Press.
The Reuters news agency reported that a police source said that witnesses had heard the attacker shout "Allahu Akbar" or "God is Greatest". The attacker then took off, but the local police alerted the public to the scene quickly.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer tweeted that it was an assault on the French Republic to kill a teacher. He added his thoughts were with the victim and his family, and the only responses to 'Islamist terrorism' were unity and firmness.
Thibault Humbert, the mayor of Eragny, congratulated on Twitter "the speed with which the police neutralised the individual."
The attacker was shot by the police and died of his injuries later
(Reported by Safa Maryam)