French mayor threatened with "decapitation" just week after Paty murder

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FILE PHOTO: People pay tribute to beheaded teacher Samuel Paty in Paris
FILE PHOTO: People pay tribute to beheaded teacher Samuel Paty in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - A French mayor said on Friday he had received threats of having his head cut off - just one week after the decapitation of schoolteacher Samuel Paty shocked France.

"These threats must be taken seriously," Jeremie Breaud, the mayor of Bron near the major French city of Lyon, told BFM TV on Friday, adding that he had received offers of police protection.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin expressed his support for Breaud on Twitter, and also said the mayor would get police protection.

Breaud posted on his Twitter account a photo of graffiti on a wall in the town saying "Jeremy Breaud, we will cut your head off". Police are investigating the precise circumstances behind the threats.

Paty was murdered on Oct. 16 in broad daylight outside his school in a middle-class Paris suburb by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. Police shot the attacker dead.

The teenager had sought to avenge his victim's use of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, editing by Philippa Fletcher)