PARIS (Reuters) – An 11th person was arrested on Sunday, police said, as authorities investigate the murder of Samuel Paty, a history professor beheaded by a suspected Islamist in an attack that stunned the country .
The satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were attacked in a massacre five years ago, was among the groups organizing a tribute to Paty in Paris in the afternoon.
The 47-year-old teacher was killed on Friday outside his school in a Paris suburb by an 18-year-old assailant. The attacker, born in Russia of Chechen descent, was shot dead by police shortly after the attack.
Earlier this month, the teacher showed his students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a free speech class, angering a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any portrayal of the prophet is blasphemous.
The government described the murder as an attack on the core of French values.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and politicians from all walks of life were to attend Sunday’s commemoration in central Paris. A national tribute will be organized on Wednesday, the office of President Emmanuel Macron announced.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government was working on a strategy to better protect teachers against threats. Paty had been the target of an angry social media campaign before the attack.
“I want the teachers to know that after this heinous act, the whole country is behind them,” Castex told The Journal du Dimanche in an interview.
“This tragedy affects all of us because, through this professor, it is the Republic that has been attacked.”
There were no details of the eleventh person detained in connection with the murder.
Four close relatives of the attacker were arrested shortly after the attack. Five others were subsequently arrested, including the father of a pupil from Paty’s school and an acquaintance of the pupil’s father known to the intelligence services, anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said on Saturday.
A 10th person was taken into custody later Saturday.
Macron was due to hold a security meeting with key ministers later Sunday, his office said.
On Saturday, hundreds of people, including students and their parents, teachers and residents came to express their sorrow and their solidarity in front of the school where Paty worked, the Collège du Bois d’Aulnein in the suburb of Conflans-Sainte- Honorine.
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Frances Kerry)