Rabat – France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had to abruptly end his visit to Morocco after news emerged of a decapitation in Paris. The shocking development ended his visit for diplomatic discussions with Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and other top officials.
Reports of a horrific attack on a Parisian teacher emerged on Friday evening. A man armed with a knife decapitated a local teacher, according to police and prosecutors quoted by AFP. The crime occured in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, a Parisian commune to the northwest of the capital. French police shot the suspect dead.
The French National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office is treating the crime as a likely terrorist event. Local police confirmed to New York Times that the victim was a middle school teacher who had recently shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on freedom of speech.
“It’s unbelievably violent,” Eragny Thibault Humbert, the mayor of Conflans Sainte-Honorine, told radio station Europe 1. He commended local police for their swift response, saying that “it is necessary to underline the speed with which the police officers neutralized the individual.”
The attack will come as another shock to the French, weeks after two men attacked and injured two innocent people near the office of satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. The attacks also came as an act of vengeance after the publication again published caricatures of the Islamic prophet.
The shocking news and its aftermath will be a prime concern for French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin who was visiting with Moroccan dignitaries as both countries aim to strengthen ties and collaborate on a variety of important issues.
The horrific details of the news prompted France’s interior minister to end his diplomatic mission in Morocco after earlier meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and Darmanin’s Moroccan counterpart, Abdelouafi Laftit.