A French man suspected of killing three Kurds in Paris has admitted to having a “pathological” hatred of foreigners, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said on Sunday.
The 69-year-old was released from custody on Saturday on health grounds and taken to a police psychiatric facility.
In a statement, Mr Beccuau said the suspect was “depressed” and “suicidal” and said he “wanted to kill the foreigner” after a robbery at his home in 2016.
Friday’s shootings at a Kurdish cultural center and a nearby hair salon sparked panic in the city’s bustling 10th district, which is home to shops and restaurants and a large Kurdish population.
Three other people were injured in the attack.
The suspect said he initially wanted to kill in Seine-Saint-Denis, a northern Paris suburb with a large immigrant population, before deciding to head to the 10th arrondissement.
The shooting revived the trauma of three unsolved Kurdish murders in 2013, which many blamed on Turkey.
Many in the Kurdish community expressed anger at French security services, saying they were doing too little to stop the shooting.
That frustration boiled over on Saturday, when angry demonstrators clashed with police in central Paris, a second day in a row after a tribute rally.
On Saturday, the capital’s police chief, Laurent Nunez, told BFM television channel that 31 police officers and one protester had been injured in the unrest, while 11 others had been arrested, “mainly because of the vandalism”.
The suspect, named by French media as William M., a gun enthusiast with a history of weapons crimes, was released on bail earlier this month.
The retired train driver was convicted of armed violence by a court in Seine-Saint-Denis in 2016, but he appealed.
A year later, he was convicted of illegal possession of a firearm.
Last year he was charged with racist violence for allegedly stabbing migrants and cutting down their tents with a sword in a park east of Paris.
“He’s an idiot”
“He’s crazy, he’s an idiot,” his father was quoted as saying by the M6 television channel.
Often described as the world’s largest stateless people, the Kurds are a Muslim ethnic group spread across Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.
Meanwhile, a top aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party for the street unrest that engulfed Paris after the shooting.
“This is the PKK in France,” Ibrahim Kalin, a foreign policy adviser to President Erdogan, tweeted images of overturned and burning cars in Paris.
“The same terrorist group you support in Syria,” he wrote, apparently referring to the YPG.
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies.
Ankara has been at loggerheads with the U.S. and European powers over their support for Kurdish fighters in the YPG militia, the alleged Syrian branch of the PKK.
The YPG has played a central role in the U.S.-led campaign against jihadists belonging to the Islamic State group in Syria. It is not listed as a terrorist organization by the United States or the European Union – an issue of ongoing tension with NATO member Turkey.
Some of those who took part in the ensuing protest chanted slogans referring to the PKK.
(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)
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