ARRAS, France – A teacher was killed and several people were injured in a knife attack at a public school in Arras, northern France, on Friday. The attack took place at Gambetta High School around 11 a.m. local time. According to reports, a worker at the school is in critical condition after receiving multiple stab wounds, while another teacher was wounded but in a less serious condition.
The suspect, a 20-year-old man of Chechen origin, has been detained by police. French authorities had previously announced that he was under “active surveillance” before the incident. During the attack, the suspect reportedly cried “Allahu Akbar.” His brother was also taken into custody.
The French national anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the incident, stating that it is being treated as a terrorist act. The suspect is being investigated for murder and attempted murder in relation to a terrorist initiative, as well as association with terrorist wrongdoers in preparation for crimes against people.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited the school and condemned the attack, describing it as an act of “barbarism of Islamist terrorism.” He expressed his condolences to the family of the slain teacher and praised their bravery for saving many lives. Macron referred to the killing of high school teacher Samuel Paty in a Paris suburb in October 2020, emphasizing the ongoing threat of terrorism.
The Arras Prosecutor is expected to hold a press conference in the coming hours to provide further details about the incident. French police have urged the public to avoid spreading misinformation online and to stay away from the area.
This attack once again highlights the persistent threat of terrorism in France and the challenges faced by authorities in preventing such acts. The investigation will shed light on the motives and background of the suspect, as well as any potential links to extremist networks. The incident also raises questions about the effectiveness of surveillance measures and the need for enhanced security in educational institutions.
The safety of students and teachers remains a top priority, and the government will likely face renewed calls for stronger measures to prevent future attacks. As the investigation unfolds, France continues to grapple with the complex issue of radicalization and the ongoing battle against terrorism.