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Paris attacker asked students to point out victim before beheading him

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It was not clear whether the parent was one of those in police custody. It was also not immediately known if the attacker had seen the video.

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

“(My daughter) is in pieces, terrorized by the violence of such an act. How will I explain to her the unthinkable?” one father wrote on Twitter.

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.

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Before that attack, Charlie Hebdo had published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, unleashing divisions that still cast a pall over French society.

Addressing the country’s teachers, pupils and their parents, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said Paty was killed by what he called the enemies of freedom.

“The Republic will never, never, never back down when confronted by terror, intimidation,” he said in a recorded statement.

Muslim leaders condemned the 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 sympathizers was devastating for France’s Muslim community, Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque, said.

“Every day that passes without incident we give thanks,” he told France Inter radio. “We are between hammer and anvil. It attacks the Republic, society, peace and the very essence of religion, which is about togetherness.”



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