France's Macron attends funeral of teacher killed in knife attack

The murder suspect was a former student at the school where the attack occurred and is being investigated in connection with a terrorist organisation

Published : 19 Oct 2023, 10:04 AM
Updated : 19 Oct 2023, 10:04 AM

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday attended the funeral of Dominique Bernard, a 57-year old teacher who was stabbed to death at his school in a suspected Islamist attack six days ago in the northern city of Arras.

Macron and his wife Brigitte, a former teacher, spoke with Bernard's family ahead of the ceremony at the Saint Vaast Cathedral in Arras, which was also attended by Bernard's colleagues and students each carrying a white rose.

A large crowd outside watched the ceremony on a big screen on the Place des Héros at the foot of the city’s belfry, standing silently in the rain.

The suspect in the killing, 20-year-old Mohammed M, who has been placed under formal investigation for murder in connection with a terrorist organisation, was a former student at the Lycee Gambetta high school, where the attack occurred.

The country has been on its highest state of alert since Bernard's killing.

France has been targeted by a series of Islamist attacks over the past decade, the worst being a simultaneous assault by gunmen and suicide bombers on entertainment venues and cafes in Paris in November 2015.