Thomas Padilla Associated Press The Louvre museum was evacuated and exceptionally closed, Saturday at mid -day, “for security reasons”, after having received “a written message reporting a risk”, specified a spokesperson for the museum.
Two of the most famous French monuments in the world, the Louvre Museum and the Palace of Versailles, were evacuated and closed on Saturday, the day after an Islamist attack in the north of France, which has since been placed in a state of 'alert.
A French teacher, Dominique Bernard, was stabbed to death on Friday in front of a middle school in Arras by a radicalized young man, born in the predominantly Muslim Russian republic of Ingushetia, who injured three other people. /p>
“We will not give in to violence. We will face it and we will fight it,” assured the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, on Saturday, who the day before raised the Vigipirate alert level to the “emergency attack” level, the highest of this security system, which allows the exceptional mobilization of resources.
Up to 7,000 soldiers from the Sentinel force (anti-terrorist fight) will be deployed in the territory “by Monday evening and until further notice”, announced the 'Élysée, Saturday.
The Louvre and the Palace of Versailles evacuated
The Louvre and the Palace of Versailles were the target of alerts on Saturday and evacuated.
The largest museum in the world, located in the heart of Paris, announced around midday that it would have to exceptionally close after “receiving a written message reporting a risk for the museum and for its visitors”, a spokesperson said. 'AFP.
A few hours later, the Palace of Versailles, west of the capital, was evacuated after a bomb threat made via an anonymous message on the monpolice website .fr, AFP learned from police sources.
The murder of the professor in Arras caused a shock wave, particularly in the teaching world, in a context marked by fears of the importation into France of the conflict between Hamas and Israel.
The Minister of of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, affirmed that there was a “link between what undoubtedly happened in the Middle East and the act” of the attacker.
< p>The attack comes almost three years to the day after the assassination of Samuel Paty, a history and geography teacher who was beheaded on October 16, 2020, shortly after leaving his college in the Paris suburbs, for showing caricatures of Mohammed in a course on freedom of expression.
A minute of silence will be respected in schools in France, Monday at 2 p.m. “I hope that Monday will be a day of solidarity for our teachers” , declared the French Minister of Education, Gabriel Attal.
Security forces patrolled in front of the Gambetta school campus in Arras on Saturday, where a psychological unit was set up.
“It’s better to leave the high school open, so that everyone can come, talk, to mourn,” said Camille, 17, a high school student who witnessed the attack. A way of showing that we must “resist terrorism”.
Eleven people in police custody
Eleven people were taken into custody , including the assailant, Mohammed Mogouchkov, aged around twenty, who was arrested in the courtyard of the high school, where he had previously studied.
Since his arrest, he “has not explained the facts,” a police source told AFP.
“Several witnesses heard him shout “Allah Akbar”.”
Among those also in police custody are several members of the attacker's family: his sister, his mother, his uncle and two of his brothers, one of whom was taken from the cell where he is detained for “terrorist criminal association”.
Mohammed Mogouchkov, registered for radicalism and who was the subject of recent monitoring by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), was under surveillance. The DGSI had arrested him the day before the events “to check if he did not have a weapon on him” and to “look at his phone and in particular encrypted messaging”, according to the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.
Of Russian nationality, he arrived in France in 2008, according to a police source.
He took the action during the interval between classes, at 11 p.m. local time, Friday.
Dominique Bernard “interposed first, and undoubtedly saved many lives himself,” underlined President Emmanuel Macron, calling on the French to “stand together” in the face of “the barbarity of Islamist terrorism.”
Originally from Arras, father of three grown-up daughters and married to a teacher, this 57-year-old associate professor of modern literature was “appreciated by his students and colleagues”, according to testimonies collected by AFP.