Thousands of people gathered across France in protest after a history teacher was beheaded by an Islamist terrorist.
On Friday history teacher Samuel Paty was murdered in the street by 18-year-old Aboulakh Anzorov.
Police shot the teenager dead not far from Mr Paty’s body a short while later.
The 47-year-old teacher was targeted because he showed his class a drawing of the Prophet Mohammed in a lesson about freedom of expression.
Anzorov is believed to have shared graphic photos of Mr Paty’s corpse and the killing itself online, alongside a threat in French to those who “insult” the prophet.
Anzorov had been granted a 10-year residency as a refugee in March and was not known to intelligence services.
In response to the brutal killing large crowds gathered silently today, from Paris to Lyon, Marseille to Lille.
They intermittently broke their silence to applaud or sing the national anthem.
Prime Minister Jean Castex attended the gathering on Place de La Republique in Paris along with Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and politicians from across the spectrum, showing solidarity after a killing that has shocked the country.
“You don’t scare us. We are not afraid. You will not divide us. We are France!” Castex tweeted later.
Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.
The assailant, who was born in Russia of Chechen origin, was shot dead by police soon after the attack.
Police have detained 11 people in connection with the killing.
Their investigation is thought to focus on Brahim Chnina, father of a 13-year-old girl in Paty’s class.
He is believed to have denounced the teacher online and gave details of the school, Valeurs Actuells reported.
People at the events on Sunday wore masks to protect themselves against Covid-19 and carried signs which carried slogans including “Teaching yes, bleeding no” or “I am Charlie” in a reference to satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were attacked in a mass killing five years ago.
Pierre Fourniou, 83, was one of the people who hit the streets of Paris.
“We’re here to defend the Republic, the values of the Republic: liberty, equality, fraternity and secularism,” he said.
“We can feel that the nation is threatened.
Paty had been the target of an angry campaign on social media before he was killed.
Castex said in an interview in Journal du Dimanche newspaper that the government is working on a strategy to better protect teachers from threats.
President Emmanuel Macron was due to hold a security meeting with key ministers later on Sunday, his office said.
A national tribute will be organised for Wednesday.