A 16-year-old girl attacked for wearing the Muslim veil in a Paris suburb earlier this month is in critical condition after attempting suicide, according to French media reports.
The teenager, who said she was attacked Aug. 12 by two men who threatened her with a boxcutter before ripping off her veil, was in "critical" condition at a hospital in the French capital.
The newspaper Le Parisien reported that she threw herself out of a 4th-story window at her family home in the Paris suburb of Trappes Monday night.
With tensions already high in Trappes — the scene of clashes between Islamists and police last month — authorities feared the suicide attempt could spark further unrest.
On the day she was attacked, the teen victim told police she was leaving a friend’s house in Trappes when two “European-looking” men confronted her.
She reported that her assailants shouted racist and anti-Muslim insults before brandishing a boxcutter. She said they then tore off her veil, pushed her to the ground, and hit her.
The victim was saved when a third man intervened and the attackers fled the area by car.
She was driven to the hospital in Trappes and treated for “light scratch marks” on her face and throat.
The following day she reported the incident to local police, who opened up an official investigation and have been studying closed-circuit television images in an effort to track down witnesses to the attack.
Investigators confirmed the girl had been attacked. But according to Le Parisien, they have been unable to confirm her version of events. The police probe has been made more difficult by the fact that no eyewitness has come forward with information.
It was not clear whether the victim was wearing a headscarf, known as a hijab, or a full-face veil, known as a niqab, which the French have been banned from wearing in public since 2011.
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