France: Gun attack at Kurdish community killing 3, was a ‘terror attack’

By Nur Asena Erturk and Murat Temizer

ANKARA (AA): A 69-year-old “caucasian” gunman of French nationality, killed three people and injured three others at a Kurdish cultural centre and a hairdressing salon in Paris on Friday.

The motivations for Friday’s mass shooting in Paris remain unknown, according to France’s interior minister.

However, the Kurdish Democratic Council of France (CDK-F), which uses the cultural centre as its headquarters, said in a statement that it considered the shooting to be a “terror attack”.

A 69-year-old gunman opened fire in the French capital, killing at least three people and injuring three others, local media reported. He was placed in custody after he fired gunshots on Enghien Street in the city center.

The Kurdish community centre, called Centre Ahmet Kaya, is used by a charity that organises concerts and exhibitions, and helps the Kurdish diaspora in the Paris region.

Visiting the site of the shooting, Minister of Interior, Gerald Darmanin, said the motivations for the attack remain unknown.

He said the gunman was not known by intelligence officials for membership in ultra-right wing groups or extremism.

The suspect “obviously” acted alone, said Darmanin. He will soon testify after being treated at a hospital, he said.

Darmanin also said an official investigation will help shed light on the incident.

Although the attacker targeted foreigners as aggressor gangs, it cannot be said that Kurds were specifically targeted, he added.

However, French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter. “The Kurds in France have been the target of an odious attack in the heart of Paris.”

Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau, who earlier visited the scene, said the suspect carried out two attacks in the past, including one against people staying in tents in Paris. He was recently released.

An investigation has been launched into homicide, attempted homicide and deliberate acts of armed violence, said Beccuau.

Suspected racist motivations behind the attack will be investigated, she said.

Police caught the attacker with his gun, according to media reports. It added that the suspect was named William M., who held an employee ID card from the National Company of French Railways.

No official statement has yet been made regarding the purpose of the attack.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne extended condolences to the victims and congratulated officers who caught the attacker. Borne confirmed that an investigation has been opened.

“A terrible act has shaken Paris and France today,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Twitter. “My thoughts are with the victims and their families,” he added.

“Tragic news about the shooting in Paris today. My thoughts are with the victims and their families – the UK is ready to support in whatever way we can,” said UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

The Austrian Foreign Ministry wrote on Twitter that “hate will not win.”

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: : French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (C) visits Kurdish centre in Enghien Street a, Paris, France, s the police cordon-off the area after a gunman opened fire, killing at least three people and injuring four others on December 23, 2022. Photojournalist :Esra Taskin/AA]

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