Asylum seeker stabs French immigration official to death in Pau

Friday 19th February 2021 17:00 GMT

The killing happened at a refugee centre on Friday morning in the southern city of Pau, about 50km (31 miles) from the Spanish border.

French media and the city's mayor said the victim was the head of the asylum service, reportedly a 46-year-old man.

The regional Sud Ouest newspaper said he was given first aid after being stabbed several times in the chest but died of his injuries.

The attacker is understood to be a long-time resident of the centre.

Pau mayor Francois Bayrou said the man had been in jail before for violence involving a knife.

"This is a terrible drama, all the more because the victim spent his entire professional life helping migrants and asylum seekers," Mr Bayrou told France Bleu radio.

"The man's asylum request had been rejected, and for good reasons. He then turned against the head of the service, this is extreme and absurd violence," he added.

The killing is not currently believed to be terror-related but French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said he was heading to the scene.

"I extend my sincere condolences to the victim's family and loved ones," tweeted Mr Darmanin.

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