A Sudanese refugee stabbed and killed an employee at a centre for asylum seekers in the southern French city of Pau on Friday after his request for political asylum was rejected, authorities said.
A police prefecture official said the asylum seeker had been living at the centre for a while and the Pau mayor said he had earlier been in jail for acts of violence, notably with a knife.
"This is a terrible drama, all the more because the victim spent his entire professional life helping migrants and asylum seekers," Pau mayor Francois Bayrou said on France Bleu radio.
"The man's asylum request had been rejected, and for good reasons. He then turned against the head of the service, this is extreme and absurd violence," Bayrou added.
French media reported the alleged assailant had been arrested.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Friday he was heading to the asylum seekers centre in Pau.
On its website the Sudouest newspaper quoted the head of the centre as saying that the victim was the head of the asylum service and that he had been stabbed in the throat.