Authorities in France have arrested two suspects in connection with the murder of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor at her apartment in Paris last week.
Her body was found in the home, which reports indicate had been torched after Mireille Knoll was stabbed 11 times.
According to CNN, French authorities are treating the incident as a possible hate crime rooted in antisemitism.
A police source said the suspects face charges of “voluntary homicide because of the true or supposed religion of the victim, theft aggravated by three circumstances and degradation of the property of others by a dangerous means.”
One of the two men indicted in the homicide is Knoll’s 27-year-old neighbor, who has been previously accused of sexual assault against the daughter of the victim’s caretaker.
The other man charged is homeless and 21 years old with multiple previous claims of violence against him.
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the “dreadful crime” in a tweet reaffirming his “absolute determination to fight against anti-Semitism.”
Neither suspect was identified by name in available news reports.
Other prominent national leaders also spoke out against the homicide, including Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia.
Horrifié par la tragique disparition de Mireille Knoll, rescapée de la Shoah, presque un an jour pour jour après le meurtre de Sarah Halimi-Attal.
L'horreur du crime et la violence des bourreaux sont identiques et renvoient à la négation du visage humain…
— Haïm Korsia (@HaimKorsia) March 26, 2018
A Twitter statement in part stated his believe that the “horror of the crime and the violence of the executioners are identical and refer to the negation of the human face.”
Korsia noted that the attack occurred almost exactly one year after the death of another French Jew, 65-year-old Sara Halimi-Attal, in what prosecutors say appeared to be an antisemitic act.
As Reuters reported, the suspects gave conflicting statements to police. One reportedly said he heard the other shout an Islamic religious phrase in Arabic prior to the fatal attack.
[Featured image: Mireille Knoll/Associated Press]