At least three people were killed in an attack with a knife near a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, the French police confirm. One woman is said to have been decapitated, an initiated police source says, but this has not yet been confirmed by authorities. Several people were injured. The mayor speaks of a terrorist act.
Second violent incident in a short time
The attack happened at around 9 a.m. in the Notre-Dame church in Nice, police said BFM TV. The suspect would have been arrested soon after the attack. Local media reports that shots were fired during the arrest of the suspects.
The French anti-terrorism unit says it will investigate the matter. Previously, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin indicated that a police operation will be carried out in the coastal city on the Mediterranean.
President Emmanuel Macron is going to visit the city, Mayor Christian Estrosi says. French media report that silence has already been held for a minute in the French Lower House, the National Assembly.
The attack comes 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 with the murder of Paty is not yet clear, nor whether this latest incident has anything to do with extremist Islamism. Mayor Estrosi says the attacker would have shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ (God is Great).
Thousands of French took to the streets after the murder of Paty to show their support after the incident, which was reminiscent of the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in 2015. In addition, two Islamist terrorists killed 12 people in the magazine’s office, which depicts a cartoon. of the Prophet.
After the murder of Paty, France has announced that it is targeting and closing radical Islamist organizations. This is leading to mounting tensions with other Islamic countries, including Egypt and Turkey.