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French girl, 14, ‘seriously wounded’ after brutal beating by teens outside school

In Europe
April 05, 2024
Students arrive on 4 April 2024 in Montpellier, southern France, at the College Arthur-Rimbaud secondary school a day after a 14-year-old girl was assaulted outside the school (AFP via Getty Images)

Students arrive on 4 April 2024 in Montpellier, southern France, at the College Arthur-Rimbaud secondary school a day after a 14-year-old girl was assaulted outside the school (AFP via Getty Images)

France has launched an investigation after a 14-year-old school girl was left in a coma after being brutally assaulted by three teenagers in the southern city of Montpellier.

The teen is now out of the medically induced coma but remains “disturbed” and “traumatized”, her mother said.

She alleged that her daughter was repeatedly bullied by some students, possibly over her clothing they deemed “un-Islamic”.

The three students suspected in the attack are a girl and two boys, all of 14 years of age, studying in the same school as the victim. They have been arrested by the police.

The attack comes as tensions are running high in French schools following the killing of two teachers in 2020.

The teen was attacked on Tuesday afternoon outside Arthur Rimbaud college in the district of La Mosson-La Paillade, prosecutors said, adding that she was “seriously wounded”.

President Emmanuel Macron expressed “solidarity” with the girl and her family in televised comments but said he would not categorise the attack.

“At this stage I would be wary of categorising things and I want the full truth to be established in calm and the conclusions to be drawn then,” he said.

Students arrive on April 4, 2024 in Montpellier, southern France, at the College Arthur-Rimbaud secondary school a day after a 14-year-old girl was assaulted outside the school (AFP via Getty Images)

Students arrive on April 4, 2024 in Montpellier, southern France, at the College Arthur-Rimbaud secondary school a day after a 14-year-old girl was assaulted outside the school (AFP via Getty Images)

Education minister Nicole Belloubet ordered an investigation and asked for a report on the circumstances surrounding the attack within eight working days from Friday.

“This mission will aim both to establish the reality of the facts and to establish responsibilities,” Ms Belloubet told BFMTV.

One of the accused has admitted to having assaulted the victim, the prosecutors said in a statement on Wednesday.

The mother of the injured teen said her daughter was bullied for the past two-and-a-half years, mainly over the clothes she chose to wore.

“I don’t actually understand this child’s reasons for constantly attacking (her daughter), but there is something. I think it’s … the fact that she (daughter) … is maybe a little more liberated than some students,” she told BFMTV.

She said she is “shocked” and “if this is the reason for the harassment against my daughter, it is very serious”.

“I let my daughter express herself while monitoring her. I am a mother, but my daughter has grown up and makes her own choices,” she added.

Last week, the education minister ordered the setting up of a mobile security force outside schools that were “experiencing difficulties” amid a rise in threats.

Samuel Paty, who taught history and geography, was decapitated in a Paris suburb in 2020 by an 18-year-old who was born in Moscow of Chechen origin. He was shot dead by police soon after the attack.

Another teacher Dominique Bernard was murdered at his school in Arras in October 2023 in the latest incident of a terror attack that shocked France.

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