“They had ordered several boys not to have contact with her anymore out of fear for their reputation and that of their family,” said prosecutor Grégoire Dulin. When they learned that 15-year-old Shemseddine was “bragging about being able to talk to her freely,” she and two acquaintances went to the teenager’s school in Viry-Châtillon, south of Paris, on Thursday. Shemseddine was knocked down and died from his injuries in hospital on Friday.

It was the second serious attack among students this week. On Tuesday, a 13-year-old girl was beaten so badly in Montpellier, southern France, that she fell into a coma. She has now woken up from her coma, but according to her doctors she has “serious injuries”.

Three teenagers were arrested as suspected perpetrators: a 14-year-old girl from the same school as the victim and two boys aged 14 and 15 who attend other schools. Investigations into attempted murder were initiated against the three suspects on Friday evening. According to initial investigations, the victim and the three suspects had insulted each other on online networks before the beating.

After the two acts of violence, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of “a form of rampant violence among our young people” that must be combated. Schools need to be better protected against such acts, Macron said on Friday while visiting a primary school in Paris.