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France: ‘My son can’t believe it’ – parents react to beheaded professor

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Parents of pupils who attend College du Bois d’Aulne secondary school reacted to a teacher being decapitated in what authorities have labelled a terror attack, in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, on Friday.

The teacher showed caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad to his students during a discussion of freedom of speech, parents said.

One father of College du Bois d’Aulne student said the teacher asked children of Muslim faith to leave the room, he said he believed the teacher did not “do it to discriminate or to hurt, he did it to preserve the children, to not shock them.”

“My son liked this professor, they all liked him. He was nice, it wasn’t the first time he talked about Islam, in a good way,” he added. “My son can’t believe it, he doesn’t understand what happened.”

Police reportedly chased the attacker from the site and later shot him dead in nearby Eragny-sur-Oise. An anti-terrorism prosecutor has been called in to lead an investigation.

It is believed the suspect was an 18-year-old born in Moscow, of Chechen origin. Police have arrested nine people in connection with the attack including a minor.

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