• France's news in English
Killings leave town in shock and France on edge again
Police gather in Magnanville on Tuesday morning. Photo: AFP

Killings leave town in shock and France on edge again

The Local · 14 Jun 2016, 15:12

Published: 14 Jun 2016 15:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Jun 2016 15:12 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
France was rocked on Tuesday morning by the news that a man with known jihadist links had brutally murdered a policeman and his partner.
The attack took place late on Monday night in Magnanville, a town of 6,000 people about 60 kilometres west of the city centre in Paris.
The attacker, named Larossi Abballa, stabbed 42-year-old Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, nine times before reportedly cutting the throat of his wife, Jessica.
Police officers managed to kill the attacker after a hostage situation in the home of the victims, leaving their three-year-old son as the only survivor. 
Officials at the Town Hall shared a message of their "infinite sadness after the horrible tragedy" and offered condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims.
Magnanville residents, meanwhile, have been left traumatized by the attack in their small community.
"I was at the cafe this morning and it’s all anyone's talking about," a receptionist at a local car dealer told The Local. 
"Everyone's shocked. There's no other word for it than shocked."
Others shared a feeling of disbelief that Magnanville could play host to a terrorist attack. 
"This is a small, tranquil, and family-oriented town," a woman named Véronique who works at the Hotel Eclipse told The Local. "And we've been left in fear like everyone else."
Fear was a common response among the community members, with the November terror attacks in nearby Paris still fresh in many people's minds. 
"We're afraid, of course, we don't really feel safe," community worker Ms Delacodte told The Local.
"Like the attacks on November 13th in Paris, we don’t imagine things like this can happen where we are. Whether it’s in Magnanville or Paris, we never think it will happen where we live."
What we know of the 'jihadist' killing of French policeman
An ambulance drives away from the scene of the double murder in Magnanville. Photo: AFP
The neighbour of the 25-year-old suspect expressed his astonishment to learn he was living beside a man with jihadist links.
"I am astonished - he's a good lad, without issues, who delivered sandwiches around the neighbourhood," the man told Le Figaro newspaper. 
The two victims were a "respected couple", said the Mayor of Magnanville, Michel Lebouc, who called the attack an "unspeakable" crime.
"We are going to open a crisis centre in the town to help witnesses and shocked residents," he told reporters, calling for national solidarity.
The coldblooded attack has sent more shock waves around the whole of France and acted as an untimely reminder of what the French president described as the "very significant terror threat" the country faces.
'Country must unite'
In echoes of the November attacks in Paris, France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has once again been forced to call for the country to unite, as fears will naturally grow of retribution attacks against the Muslim community.
Story continues below…
"No one among us should have to die for who they are. Together we have to show that the French are strong, resilient, and proud," he said. 
French PM Manuel Valls called on the public to get behind the country's police force.
"The most important things right now are respect and unity - that is, to respect the work of the police forces and to unite behind them during these times," he said.
The attack has once again left ordinary members of France's five million strong Muslim community on edge, with leaders quickly distancing themselves from a crime carried out by a fanatic, apparently in the name of their religion.

Anouar Kbibech, the president of the French council of Muslim Faith (CFCM) described the double killing as “an abominable act”.

"We learned about this terrible act with horror,” Kbibech said, before asking all Muslims to pray for the victims.

For the moment, like the residents of Magnanville, the French have been left with countless questions about what President Hollande said was "unquestionably a terrorist attack" - not least considering the country is on high alert for the Euro 2016 football championships.
With Isis leaders having made a recent call for followers to carry out attacks, especially in the United States, France and the United Kingdom, authorities and the public will all be left fearing what might be around the corner.
Oliver Gee/Katie Warren
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available