France: Teacher assaulted by attacker citing Islamic State

PARIS: French anti-terrorism authorities are investigating an attack Monday on a preschool teacher in a Paris suburb by a masked assailant with a box-cutter and scissors who invoked the Islamic State group.

The assailant's identity and motive remain unclear and a manhunt is underway, authorities said.

The attack comes as France remains under a state of emergency after the November 13 attacks in Paris by Islamic State-linked extremists left 130 people dead and wounded hundreds of others. In French-language propaganda after the attacks, IS had urged followers to attack French teachers and school administrators, saying France's secular education system was poisoning young minds.

In Monday's attack in the town of Aubervilliers, an assailant in a ski mask and gloves arrived at the Jean Perrin preschool before class began and attacked the teacher with a box-cutter and scissors, said Philippe Galli, the top government official for the Seine-Saint-Denis region. No children were present, only the teacher and other staff members, he told reporters outside the school.

French media said the teacher did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem went to the school and promised to ensure security at schools around the country.

"It's an act of great gravity," she said.