France on Saturday announced the deployment of as many as 7,000 soldiers across the country after an individual flagged as a security threat fatally stabbed a French language teacher and injured three others in an attack the other day.
On Friday, a man of Chechen origin stabbed to death a teacher and severely wounded three others at a school in the town of Arras in northeastern France.
The attacker was arrested by police, who used stun guns to subdue him. He was identified as Mohammed Moguchkov, from the Caucasus region of Chechnya. He was a former student at the school where he attacked and killed the teacher on Friday.
Police said that, per initial investigations, the attacker allegedly shouted 'God is Great" in Arabic before launching the attack in the school.
His other victims included a school security officer and another teacher. No students were hurt in the attack. Witnesses at the school said that the suspect appeared to be searching for a particular teacher who taught history.
Police said that Moguchkov's 17-year-old brother was detained near another school. Other family members, including his sister, were also detained for "investigation" purposes.
Meanwhile, a man was arrested leaving a prayer hall in the Yvelines region of Paris for carrying a prohibited weapon in what is believed to be the second attack but was foiled.
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the act as "Islamist terror" amid rising tensions over Israel's impending attack on Gaza, adding that a second attack had been foiled elsewhere in France.
French authorities, which banned pro-Palestinian protests and symbolism of Palestine but saw protests in any case, linked the attack to tensions in the Middle East.
The French government has been widely criticised for the protest ban, terming it contrary to French values of free expression. France is home to the world's third-largest population of Jews after Israel and the US. It also hosts Western Europe's largest Muslim population.
France raised its alert level and approved the deployment of another 7,000 troops around locations it believed were susceptible to a terror attack.
There have been tensions in France since the new school year began last month with a law going into effect which prevented Muslim girls from donning the 'abaya', a head to toe covering. France defended the move as part of its law that champions secularism and discourages all symbolisms linked to religions while Muslims denounced it as specifically targeting Muslims.