Teacher in France 'stabbed by man shouting Islamic State'

Police outside the school in Aubervilliers, 14 Dec Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Jean-Perrin preschool caters for children between the ages of three and six

A teacher at a preschool in Aubervilliers, a suburb of Paris, has told police he was stabbed by a man citing so-called Islamic State.

The man said the attacker had shouted: "This is for Daesh [Islamic State]. It's a warning", and then stabbed him with a box cutter before fleeing.

However the teacher, 45, later admitted he invented the attack.

France remains on high alert after the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November that left 130 people dead.

'Fled on foot'

Police sources said the teacher was stabbed in the side and throat at about 07:10 (06:10 GMT) as he was preparing for class at the Jean-Perrin preschool, which caters for children between the ages of three and six.

He told police his attacker arrived wearing a balaclava and gloves, but was unarmed and used weapons he found in the classroom.

He then said the attacker had fled on foot. A manhunt was launched.

Local official Philippe Galli said there were no children present at the time, but other staff members were in the building. Classes have been cancelled.

The anti-terrorism branch of the Paris prosecutor's office opened an investigation for attempted murder in relation to a terrorist act.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Classes have been cancelled at the school in Aubervilliers

The Islamic State's French-language magazine Dar-al-Islam recently urged followers to kill teachers in France, describing them as "enemies of Allah" for teaching secularism, the AFP news agency reports.

Security has been strengthened at schools since the Paris attacks.

Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem travelled to the Aubervilliers school on Monday, calling the alleged attack an "act of great gravity".

Last week, she said the terrorist threat was "real and permanent", adding: "All public places must be protected, particularly schools."

Aubervilliers is in the Seine-Saint-Denis department of the Ile-de-France region.

In the 2010 census, Aubervilliers had a population of 76,000, including a large number of immigrants, mostly from North African Maghreb countries.

Ayoub El-Khazzani, who was arrested after being tackled by passengers during a suspected gun attack on a French train in August, lived in Aubervilliers for a number of months.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November left 130 dead