France: School Teacher Killed In An Alleged Religious Attack

A schoolteacher lost their life, and two individuals, a teacher and a security guard, sustained severe injuries in a knife assault that occurred at a school in France.

Nikita Gupta
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A schoolteacher lost their life, and two individuals sustained severe injuries in a knife assault that occurred at a school in France.


As reported by the BBC, the incident unfolded at Gambetta High School in the northern municipality of Arras at approximately 11 am local time. The victim who lost his life was a teacher of the French language. Those who sustained injuries were another teacher and a security guard.

The assailant, identified as Mohamed Mogouchkov, a 20-year-old Russian national of Chechen descent, is recognised by the security services for his association with Islamist extremism, as reported by the police.

Having previously been a student at the school, the accused caused concern among teachers due to his beliefs. Additionally, the attacker's brother has been taken into custody by law enforcement. Authorities have confirmed that the situation is now managed and secure.

Police Investigation Underway

The French anti-terrorism prosecutor's office has initiated an inquiry into the incident, categorising it as murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise.


According to witnesses, the attacker yelled "Allahu Akbar," meaning "God is greatest," during the assault.

Martin Doussau, a philosophy instructor at the Arras school, said that he attempted to step in when he witnessed the assailant assaulting a cafeteria staff member. Subsequently, he was pursued by the attacker, who repeatedly inquired if he was a history teacher.

During his visit to the school, President Emmanuel Macron denounced the barbarity of Islamist terrorism. Macron urged the people of France to remain unified in response to the attack and not succumb to fear or allow anything to create divisions among them.

Previous Attacks

The recent attack occurred almost three years to the day after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty on October 16, 2020, near his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb northwest of Paris, perpetrated by another individual of Chechen origin.

Out of the 15 individuals apprehended in connection with the incident, four were school students.


An 18-year-old named Abdoulakh A was fatally shot by the police in connection to the murder of Paty near his school. Allegedly, Paty had been receiving threats since he presented cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class focused on freedom of speech earlier in October.

Religious Tensions In France

The assault comes during a period of escalating tensions within France's substantial Muslim and Jewish communities, which have been exacerbated by the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

According to The New York Times, France experienced significant Islamist terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016, followed by a series of smaller yet still lethal shootings and stabbings in subsequent years, frequently executed by lone attackers.

France remains in a state of heightened vigilance, and authorities have emphasised that law enforcement and intelligence services consistently thwart planned attacks.

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