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French presidential couple attend funeral service of instructor slain at school assault

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ARRAS, France — Family members and colleagues mourned and celebrated the lifetime of a French-language instructor who was stabbed to dying in a college assault blamed on a suspected Islamic extremist. They remembered Dominique Bernard at his funeral service Thursday as a delicate, crowd-shy man who liked literature, artwork and nature and was a loyal, playful mentor to his pupils.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his spouse, Brigitte, have been amongst mourners on the cathedral in Arras, the northern French city the place Bernard taught on the Gambetta-Carnot college. White flowers adorned the coffin. A crowd, with some individuals clutching white flowers, additionally watched the service on a large display in an Arras sq.. Bernard was 57.

His spouse, Isabelle, described her husband as an ideal lover of literature, music, artwork, cinema and “the raking night gentle,” who wasn’t keen on computer systems, crowds and social networks, did not have a cellphone and “did not just like the noise and furor of the world.”

“He deeply liked his daughters, his mom and his sister. We liked each other,” she mentioned.

A colleague recalled that Bernard would tease pupils when he caught them puffing on cigarettes outdoors the varsity, jokingly saying: “You smoking somewhat coffin nail?”

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His killing final Friday shocked France and prompted heightened safety at colleges and different websites. Three different individuals have been injured within the assault.

The alleged attacker was arrested. Recognized by prosecutors as Mohammed M., he stays in detention and is underneath formal investigation for terror-related homicide, tried homicide and different expenses. France’s anti-terror prosecutor mentioned the suspect declared allegiance to the Islamic State group in an audio message recorded earlier than the assault.

A youthful brother, additionally detained, is underneath formal investigation for complicity in terror-related homicide and different expenses. The anti-terror prosecutor mentioned the 16-year-old is suspected of getting offered “a specific amount of help” for the assault, of being conscious of his older brother’s radicalization and of advising him the best way to deal with knives.

A cousin can be underneath formal investigation on a cost of failing to stop a criminal offense.

The investigations permit magistrates extra time to assemble proof earlier than an eventual trial.


Leicester reported from Le Pecq, France.

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