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France: 15-year old boy dies after attack near school

April 6, 2024

A teenage boy has died in the hospital after a group of people "tried to massacre him" as he left school. It was the second serious attack on a school student in France this week and prompted a nationwide outcry.

Ambulance rushing to the emergency department
The boy was rushed to the hospital after a cardiac arrestImage: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

A 15-year-old boy in France has died in the hospital on Friday, a day after he was attacked by a group of people after a music lesson at school.

A murder investigation has now been opened, regional prosecutor Gregoire Dulin said on Friday afternoon.

The incident occurred in the town of Viry-Chatillon, located around 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the capital, Paris.

Media cited prosecutors as saying the attack was carried out by masked youths.

Police on Friday afternoon detained five people linked to the attack, including three 17-year-olds, one 15-year-old and a 20-year-old, prosecutors said.

Thursday's attack came just two days after a teenage girl was left temporarily comatose following an attack outside her school in the south of the country.

What do we know about the attacks?

A police source said the boy was beaten by several people who then fled the scene. 

He was found in a street "not far from his school," according to prosecutors. 

The mayor of Viry-Chatillon, Jean-Marie Vilain, said the victim was taken to the Necker pediatric hospital in Paris.

Police said that the boy had suffered cardiorespiratory arrest.

The attackers "tried to massacre him," said Vilain, describing them as "the worst kind of thugs."

"This extreme violence is becoming commonplace," he added, saying that surveillance cameras might provide useful information in identifying the attackers.

Earlier, on Tuesday, a teenage girl aged 13 or 14 was attacked outside her school in the southern city of Montpellier. 

Prosecutors said the girl, who temporarily fell into a coma, was "seriously injured." 

Three alleged attackers, one of them a girl from the same school who has confessed her guilt, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a minor.

Extremism and Violence - What Children Share Online

Macron says schools must be 'shielded' from violence

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that schools should be protected from the kind of violence that has been seen in the last few days, while visiting a primary school in Paris.

"We have a form of uninhibited violence among our teenagers and sometimes among increasingly younger ones. Schools need to be shielded from this," Macron said.

"School must remain a sanctuary for our children, for their families, for our teachers."

"We will be intransigent against all forms of violence," he said, adding that the investigation should shed light on both incidents.

zc, tj/ab (AFP, dpa)