PARIS, France - French police have shot dead a man who decapitated a middle school teacher in the street in a suburb of Paris, police officials said Friday.
France's anti-terror prosecutor said it was investigating the fatal attack, which took place in Conflans Sainte-Honorine, a suburb north-west of Paris.
President Emmanuel Macron was heading to the scene following an emergency meeting at the French interior ministry, his office said.
The suspected attacker was spotted by a police patrol while carrying a knife a short distance from the scene of the attack. Officers shot the suspect dead, according to a police spokesman.
Police sources said the victim was a history teacher who had recently discussed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in class.
Police also said that witnesses had heard the attacker shout "Allahu Akbar", or "God is Great".
The grisly murder was an attack on the French nation as a whole, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on Twitter.
"Our unity and our resolve are the only responses faced with the monstrosity of Islamist terrorism," the minister wrote.
Last month, a 25-year old Pakistani man attacked two people with a meat cleaver over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
The attacker seriously injured two employees of a TV production agency, whose offices are on the same block that used to house Charlie Hebdo. Both survived.
That attack came three weeks into an ongoing trial of suspected accomplices of the authors of the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket, which also saw a policewoman gunned down in the street.
Seventeen people were killed in the three-day spree that heralded a wave of Islamist violence in France that has so far claimed more than 250 lives.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)