PARIS – French officials said on Monday they are hunting for a hooded man who claimed to be acting for Islamic State and attacked a nursery school teacher with a knife-like weapon as he prepared for classes in a school north of Paris.
The male teacher was taken to hospital after the attack by a man wielding a knife or box-cutter who fled the scene after the attack at about 0630 GMT, said the official, adding that anti-terrorism officials were investigating.
According to one judiciary official, the assailant slashed at the teacher’s neck and said the act was a signal from the Islamic State group, also referred to in France by the name Daesh.
“This is Daesh, it’s a warning,” the attacker told his victim, the official said, adding the victim’s life was apparently not in danger.
France’s education minister and a local government prefect visited the premises of the school in Aubervilliers, in the Saint-Denis region just north of the capital. Classes at the school were cancelled.
The prefect, who was not introduced by name, told reporters it was too early to draw conclusions about the character of the attack, noting that the assailant, wearing a balaclava, had apparently found the weapon at the school premises.
The incident came a month after gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in Paris an attack claimed by Islamic State, the militant Islamist group which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq and has vowed to attack France, a member of the coalition of countries conducting air strikes against it.
It also came days after a knifing in London’s underground urban rail network which police are treating as a terrorist attack.
By Brian Love
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