At least three people were killed in a knife attack near a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, the French police confirm, who shot and arrested a suspect. According to an insider at the police, a woman has been beheaded, but the authorities have not yet confirmed this. The mayor speaks of a terrorist act.
Suspect Nice is quickly arrested
The Nice attack took place at Notre-Dame in Nice around 9 a.m. on Thursday, police said BFM TV. The French anti-terrorism unit is going to investigate the case, the prosecution said.
More than two hours after the attack, police shot dead a man who threatened passersby with a knife in the French city of Avignon, local police said. The man would have succumbed to his injuries.
In Saudi Arabia, another incident occurred: authorities detained a man who attacked a guard at the French consulate with a “sharp object,” reports the French embassy. Twitter.
The suspect in Nice was arrested soon after the attack. He was shot during his arrest, says Mayor Christian Estrosi. He is still alive and is taken to hospital.
Estrosi says that one of the victims killed at Notre-Dame may be the sexton of the church. Emergency services and the police are massively present at the church.
French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the city, the mayor said. French media report that the National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, has been silent for a minute.
The attack follows a few days after the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded in Paris by a suspected extremist Islamist. Paty had shown a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson on freedom of speech.
Whether there is a connection to the murder of Paty has not yet been established. It is also not certain whether this incident has anything to do with extremist Islamism. Mayor Estrosi says the attacker shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is the greatest”) during the attack and his arrest.
Thousands of French took to the streets after the murder of Paty to show their support. This attack was reminiscent of the attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015. Two Islamist terrorists killed 12 people in the office of the magazine, which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
France has announced that it will tackle radical Islamist organizations after the murder of Paty. This is causing tensions between France and Islamic countries such as Egypt and Turkey.