Gruesome details emerge in beheading of French teacher who showed students Muhammad cartoons

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fairly difficult
The Friday slaying has horrified the nation.
As further details emerged, the incident reignited some of the most explosive debates in the French national lexicon: the value of free expression in a country that, unlike the United States, does abide by hate-speech laws, and the place of Islam in a nominally secular but post-colonial society in which Muslims are among the largest minority groups.

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French authorities identified the victim as 47-year-old Samuel Paty, who taught both history and geography at a school in the northwestern Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. The assailant, who was shot dead by police, was identified as Abdoulakh A., an 18-year-old Moscow-born immigrant of Chechen descent who carried out what President Emmanuel Macron did not hesitate to call an "Islamist terrorist attack."

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"This is our battle, and it is existential," Macron said late Friday, speaking from the scene of the crime.

French authorities commonly do not disclose the surname of suspects.

Police detained four of the suspect's relatives soon after the attack, according to Reuters. Five more people were detained overnight, including the father of a pupil at Paty's school, College du Bois d'Aulne, and an acquaintance of the pupil's father known to the intelligence services.

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Jean-François Ricard, France's top anti-terrorism prosecutor, said at a news conference Saturday that a photo of the teacher's body was found on the assailant's cellphone. The image was…
James McAuley
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