A teacher has been attacked in a preschool class in Aubervilliers, a suburb of Paris, by a loyalist of the so-called Islamic State.
The attacker shouted: “This is for Daesh [Islamic State]. It’s a warning”, stabbing the teacher with a box cutter or scissors before fleeing.
The life of the teacher, 45, who was alone in the room, is not in danger.
France remains on high alert after the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November that left 130 people dead.
Fled on foot
Police sources said the teacher was stabbed in the side and throat at about 07:10 (06:10 GMT) as he was preparing for class at the Jean-Perrin preschool, which caters for children between the ages of three and six.
The attacker reportedly arrived wearing a balaclava and gloves but was unarmed and used weapons he found in the classroom.
The attacker fled on foot and is still on the run. A manhunt is under way.
Local official Philippe Galli said there were no children present at the time of the attack but other staff members were in the building. Classes have been cancelled.
The teacher is being treated in hospital and has not yet been interviewed by police.
The anti-terrorism branch of the Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation for attempted murder in relation to a terrorist act.
The Islamic State’s French-language magazine Dar-al-Islam recently urged followers to kill teachers in France, describing them as “enemies of Allah” for teaching secularism, Agence France-Presse news agency reports.
Security has been strengthened at schools since the Paris attacks.
Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem travelled to the Aubervilliers school on Monday, calling the attack an “act of great gravity” that was “unacceptable”.
Last week, she said the terrorist threat was “real and permanent”, adding: “All public places must be protected, particularly schools.”
Aubervilliers is in the Seine-Saint-Denis department of the Ile-de-France region.
In the 2010 census, Aubervilliers had a population of 76,000, including a large number of immigrants, mostly from North African Maghreb countries.
Ayoub El-Khazzani, who was arrested after being tackled by passengers during a suspected gun attack on a French train in August, lived in Aubervilliers for a number of months.