Horror in central Paris: Kurdish council condemns deadly shots as a terrorist attack

A man shoots around in a Kurdish cultural center and fatally injures several people.

Horror in central Paris: Kurdish council condemns deadly shots as a terrorist attack

A man shoots around in a Kurdish cultural center and fatally injures several people. He gets caught. French President Macron sees a "vile attack", for the Kurdish Council it is an act of terrorism. The man is said to have attacked foreigners last year - with a saber.

A deadly attack in Paris has shaken France: an attacker fatally injured three people when shots were fired in a Kurdish cultural center and in shops. "He obviously wanted to attack foreigners," said France's Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin about the alleged perpetrator. It is unclear whether the attack was explicitly aimed at Kurds.

French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter: "The Kurds in France were the target of a vile attack in the middle of Paris." According to Darmanin, the motive is unknown, but a right-wing background to the crime is being examined.

A man fatally injured three people with shots in and in front of a Kurdish cultural center as well as a restaurant and a hairdressing salon in the tenth arrondissement of Paris. Three other people were wounded, one critically. According to the public prosecutor's office, a suspect was arrested. He too was injured. Accordingly, investigations into intentional killing and serious violence were ongoing.

The alleged 69-year-old French perpetrator was not recorded as a right-wing extremist by the security authorities, Darmanin said. "At the moment I'm speaking, I can't say that he was known for right-wing extremist acts, even if the findings and the procedure will of course allow us to examine this in the coming hours." The man acted alone and had a number of weapons as a marksman. "It is not clear if this person is politically involved in any way, although their motivation was obviously an attack on foreigners.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote on Twitter: "The Kurdish community, and through it all Parisians, have been targeted by these killings, committed by a far-right activist." She demanded: "The Kurds, wherever they live, must be able to live in peace and security. More than ever, Paris stands by them in these dark hours."

The shots also hit the branch of the Democratic Kurdish Council in France (CDK-F), an umbrella organization of 24 Kurdish associations. As the CDK-F announced, the three fatalities were Kurdish activists, as were the three injured. The organization spoke of a "terrorist attack" that came after numerous Turkish threats. Turkey has long fought Kurdish independence aspirations promoted by the banned Kurdish Workers' Party PKK and other Kurdish organizations.

The CDK-F called for a protest meeting at the site of the attack. During Darmanin's press statement at the scene, loud shouts could be heard again and again. Television footage showed police using tear gas. According to French media reports, demonstrators threw at the police. The broadcaster France Info reported an arrest and five injured police officers. France now wants to protect Kurdish meeting places. Throughout the country, guards should be posted at gathering places of the Kurdish community, Darmanin said. Turkish diplomatic missions in the country should also be protected to prevent counterattacks.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his sympathy: "A terrible act that shook Paris and France today," tweeted the SPD politician in German and French. "My thoughts are with the victims and their families." Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) wrote them on Twitter under the hashtag

Almost ten years ago there was an assassination attempt on three Kurdish activists in the tenth arrondissement of Paris. Their bodies were then discovered in the Kurdistan Information Center.

According to the public prosecutor's office, the suspect had only recently been released from custody under judicial supervision. Last year he attacked a migrant camp - with a saber, as the newspaper "Le Parisien" reported. The man injured several people there. The broadcaster France Info reported, citing police circles, that the man was known for two attempted killings.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne described the attack as a "disgusting act". She expressed her support for the victims and their families. For victims and witnesses of the bloody attack, the city set up a psychological service at the tenth arrondissement town hall.