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France Teacher's Killer Had 'Contact' with Militant in Syria

France Teacher's Killer Had 'Contact' with Militant in Syria

Thursday, 22 October, 2020 - 10:00
People stand in front of a portrait of French teacher Samuel Paty displayed on the facade of the Opera Comedie in Montpellier on October 21, 2020, during a national homage to the teacher who was beheaded. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP)

The man who decapitated a teacher in France had been in contact with a Russian-speaking extremist in Syria, a source close to the case said on Thursday.

Seven people have been charged with complicity after 18-year-old Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov killed Samuel Paty on Friday, including two teenagers who helped him identify the teacher.

The identity of the militant in Syria has not yet been established, the source told Agence France Presse.

Le Parisien newspaper reported on Thursday that Anzorov's presumed contact had been located through an IP address traced back to Idlib, a city in northwestern Syria.

In a nationally televised memorial service presided over by President Emmanuel Macron, Paty's coffin was carried into the courtyard of Sorbonne university in Paris to the soundtrack of the U2 song "One".

Atop the casket lay Paty's Legion d'Honneur, France's highest decoration that was awarded posthumously to the slain teacher.

He said Paty had been slain by "cowards" for representing the secular, democratic values of the French Republic.

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