Knifeman kills three in suspected terror attack at French church

29 Octobre, 2020, 22:20 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • France knife attack

Multiple reports citing French police sources say the attack took place at the Notre-Dame de L'Assomption Basilica, where the three victims were confirmed dead.

Notre Dame church, which is on Nice's Jean Medecin avenue, the city's main shopping thoroughfare.

Nice's mayor Christian Estrosi tweeted: "Everything suggests a terrorist attack", and the attacker shouted "Allahu Akbar".

Thursday's attacker was believed to be acting alone and police are not searching for other assailants, said two police officials, who were not authorized to be publicly named.

"A woman came in straight from the church and said, "Run, run, someone has been stabbing people", he told AFP, and dozens of police and rescue vehicles quickly sealed off the neighbourhood. The attacker was reportedly placed under arrest, and the guard has been hospitalized.

Several other people were injured.

Two people were stabbed and wounded in Paris on 25 September this year near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, where Islamist militants carried out a deadly attack in 2015 killing 12.

It was part of a wave of jihadist attacks on French soil, often by so-called "lone wolf" assailants, which has killed more than 250 people since 2015. The prime minister rushed from the hall to a crisis center overseeing the aftermath of the Nice attack.

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In France's Nice, painful memories remain fresh of a 2016 attack during the Bastille Day fireworks, when a man had rammed his truck into a crowded promenade, killing 86 people.

"He cried 'Allah Akbar!' over and over, even after he was injured", said Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, who told BFM television that two women and a man had died, two inside the church and a third who fled to a nearby bar but was mortally wounded.

Zekri called on French Muslims to cancel festivities to mark Holy Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) birthday - which ends Thursday - "in solidarity with the victims and their loved ones".

Thursday's attack drew condemnation from France's allies, with Germany's Angela Merkel voicing solidarity with France and EU Parliament President David Sassoli saying the pain was "felt by all of us in Europe".

The attacker had said he wanted to punish Mr Paty for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson.

It comes as the country is under high alert for terrorist attacks following the beheading earlier this month of French middle school teacher Samuel Paty in Paris.

Protests against France have erupted in several Muslim countries, with some urging a boycott of French goods, and tensions have flared in particular between Macron and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.



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