Suspect in Paris shooting 'wanted to murder migrants’ in attack outside Kurdish community centre

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By Euronews  with AP and AFP
A member of Paris’ Kurdish community waves the Kurdish communist flags next to a barricade on fire at the crime scene where a shooting took place in Paris.
A member of Paris’ Kurdish community waves the Kurdish communist flags next to a barricade on fire at the crime scene where a shooting took place in Paris.   -   Copyright  Lewis Joly/AP

The man suspected of killing three people outside a Kurdish community centre in Paris told investigators that he wanted “to murder migrants”.

The 69-year-old pensioner wounded three others on Friday and was disarmed and subdued by one of the injured victims when he entered a barber shop near the centre.

He was detained and could face charges of racially motivated murder, attempted murder and arms violations.

The prosecutor’s office said the unnamed suspect had a “hatred toward foreigners that became completely pathological” after he experienced a burglary at his home in 2016.

The suspect said he initially went to the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis intending to kill foreigners but changed his mind. He then went to the Kurdish centre near his parents’ home.

Emine Kara, a leader of the Kurdish Women's Movement in France, was one of the victims. And another two men, including artist and political refugee Mir Perwer, were also killed in the attack. 

French President Emmanuel Macron said the shooting was an "odious attack" against Kurds, and he called on the city’s police chief to meet with community leaders.

Kurdish activists, left-wing politicians and anti-racism groups demonstrated Saturday in Paris after the attack.

Thousands gathered at the Place de la République in eastern Paris, waving flags representing Kurdish rights groups, political parties and other causes.

The gathering was largely peaceful, yet some protesters threw projectiles and skirmished with police firing tear gas. Some people in the crowd shouted slogans against the Turkish government.

The attack also had ripple effects around the world. In northern Syria, hundreds of members of its Kurdish community staged a protest, accusing Turkey of plotting to kill Kurdish activists in the diaspora.

"It's a war against our people. They are not only targeting us in the four regions of Kurdistan but also in Europe. They want our people to perish," Azad Suleiman, a Syrian Kurdish protester, said.

Turkish forces have long been battling against Kurdish militants affiliated with the banned PKK in southeast Turkey and in northern Iraq. Turkey’s military also recently launched a series of air strikes against Syrian Kurdish targets in northern Syria.