Friday. 24.05.2024

French police have detained five more suspects in connection with the beheading of a French schoolteacher, the French news agency AFP reported late on Tuesday, citing sources close to the case.

The five suspects aged between 18 and 21 were taken into custody near Paris, according to the report. They are said to have been in telephone contact with the attacker and said to be of Chechen origin.

History teacher Samuel Paty, 47, had shown controversial caricatures of the prophet Mohammed during a class on the subject of freedom of expression.

He was murdered in a suburb of Paris in mid-October. The 18-year-old perpetrator, who had Russian-Chechen roots, was shot dead by police.

Investigators are treating the crime as an act of terror motivated by Islamist extremism. The beheading shocked France and led President Emmanuel Macron to intensify a planned crackdown on Islamist activism.

Radical Islamism

Macron and his government will discuss the fight against radical Islamism in Paris on Wednesday. The government will present a planned law which aims to "strengthen republican principles."

It calls for radical Islamism to be fought wherever young people encounter it, including in certain mosques, outside of school or on the internet.

Macron had already announced the new law in October. For years, the country has been repeatedly shaken by Islamist terrorist attacks, over 250 people have died.

Additional suspects detained in relation to French teacher killing