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What we know about the deadly attack on a Guinean researcher near Rouen

A 31-year-old Guinean doctoral student was beaten up before dying in Rouen hospital. The attack aroused emotion on social networks.

What happened on Friday, July 19, in Canteleu, near Rouen? A violent attack caused the death of a 31-year-old man and stirred up strong emotions in the city and on social networks. The circumstances of the attack are not fully established and an investigation has been opened. An update was provided on this case.

What we know

A violent attack. On Friday evening, at around 8.30 pm, a violent altercation took place between two men in Canteleu, a town adjacent to Rouen (Seine-Maritime). According to one of the first witnesses on the spot, a friend of the victim, interviewed by France 3 Normandie, the scene took place at a bus stop, while the victim had come to pick up his wife. He was then attacked by a man. A police source told France Bleu Normandie that the victim was beaten and remained unconscious on the ground. Taken into care by the emergency services, the man was transported to the University Hospital where he died on Saturday as a result of his injuries.

The identity of the victim. Mamoudou Barry was a researcher at the University of Rouen-Normandie. This Guinean had defended a law thesis on June 27 in Rouen, according to the university’s website. At 31 years of age, he was married and had a daughter.

An open investigation. The prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation, said Rouen prosecutor Pascal Prache. It has been entrusted to the Seine-Maritime departmental security. Several witnesses, including relatives of the victim, were interviewed by the investigators.

What we don’t know yet

The exact circumstances of the attack. According to Kalil Keita, a professor at the University of Rouen and close to the victim, there is no doubt about the racist motive. When questioned by France Bleu Normandie, he explains that the victim’s wife told him about the altercation. She claims that the attacker “called them dirty blacks” and referred to “the Senegal-Algeria match”, the CAN final that was supposed to take place that evening, saying “we’ll fuck you up tonight”.

According to Kalil Keita, the victim then “began to say:’I am not Senegalese, I am not Algerian, nor even very footeous’. But he didn’t have time to finish his sentence” that his interlocutor hit him. At France 3 Normandie, Kalil Keita explains that “on the fourth blow, he fell on his head, the neck hit the tar and there was blood everywhere.” Several witnesses to the scene, “including a neighbour who rescued the victim”, confirmed that they had heard racist insults.

The authorities are not confirming this information at this time. The Public Prosecutor’s Office states that “the hearings and checks in progress” should make it possible to see more clearly, but refuses to make any comments.

The identity of the suspect. The scene of the attack is equipped with video surveillance cameras. And their exploitation made it possible, in addition to the testimonies collected, to identify the author of the facts, explains France 3 Normandie. But this one was still on the run on Sunday afternoon. And the authorities have not given any information about his identity.

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