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article imageJewish school teacher stabbed in Marseille: police

By AFP     Nov 18, 2015 in World

A teacher at a Jewish school in the southern French city of Marseille was stabbed Wednesday evening by three people shouting anti-Semitic obscenities and expressing support for the Islamic State group, local authorities said.

The attack on the teacher took place around 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) in the city's 13th district, police prefect Laurent Nunez said.

The 57-year-old victim, who was wearing a kippa, was attacked outside his home, a short distance from the school and synagogue complex, a source close to the investigation said.

The attackers who were travelling by scooter demanded he look at smartphone pictures of Toulouse jihadist Mohamed Merah, who shot dead three Jewish schoolchildren, a teacher and three soldiers in southwestern France in 2012, Marseille public prosecutor Brice Robin told AFP.

Police secure the area near where a man was injured in a stabbing  on November 18  2015 in the south...
Police secure the area near where a man was injured in a stabbing, on November 18, 2015 in the southern city of Marseille
Boris Horvat, AFP

They also "showed him a T-shirt with the logo of Daesh (an acronym for Islamic State)" before lunging at him with a knife, injuring him in the arms, legs and stomach, Robin added.

The teacher, who escaped serious injury, was taken to hospital as officers fanned out across the district in search of the attackers. They fled when police arrived in the area.

"I'm very shocked because this is the second incident of its kind in a very short time," Michele Teboul, the regional president of the Jewish representative group CRIF told AFP, adding she was worried about further attacks.

Last month, a man rounded on three Jews, stabbing one of them, near the same school and synagogue, also uttering anti-Semitic slurs.

Police secure an area where a Jewish school teacher was stabbed on November 18  2015 in the southern...
Police secure an area where a Jewish school teacher was stabbed on November 18, 2015 in the southern city of Marseille
Boris Horvat, AFP

Wednesday's stabbing comes as France is on high alert following the Islamist attacks that killed 129 people in Paris on Friday.

The terror attacks, which were claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, were the worst in French history.

Parliament is due Thursday to begin debating a three-month extension of the state of emergency declared over the violence.

French Muslims, meanwhile, fear blowback from the attacks. On Wednesday, a young woman in a headscarf was attacked as she was leaving a metro station in central Marseille by a man who she said accused her of being a terrorist.

The attacker, who was in his twenties, was said to have made remarks about her headscarf before punching her and hitting her with an object believed to be a box cutter. She was lightly injured in the chest.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he was outraged by "these cowardly anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic attacks".

"Everything is being done to find and question those responsible for these unspeakable acts, who must face justice," he said.

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