The man suspected of beheading a French teacher who showed his students controversial anti-Muslim cartoons was an 18-year-old Chechen, a source said yesterday, in what President Emmanuel Macron called an "Islamist terror attack".
Police have detained nine people over Friday's attack near the middle school where the teacher worked in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, a usually quiet northwestern suburb around 30 kilometres (20 miles) from central Paris.
The assailant was shot by police and later died of his injuries.
Police said the victim was history teacher Samuel Paty, who recently showed the cartoons as part of a class discussion on freedom of expression that had prompted complaints from parents.
Four of the suspect's relatives -- two brothers and his grandparents -- were initially detained by police for questioning. A judicial source told AFP yesterday that five more people had been detained, including the parents of a child at the school where the teacher was working.
The attack came as a trial is in progress over the January 2015 massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, which had published the cartoons that unleashed a wave of anger across the Islamic world.
The attacker shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest") as police confronted him, a cry often heard in jihadist attacks, a police source said.
Visibly moved, Macron said that "the entire nation" stood ready to defend teachers and that "obscurantism will not win".His Elysee Palace said Saturday that a "national tribute" would be held in Paty's honour, without setting a date.