Two dead, several injured in knife attack in France's Nice; mayor says 'everything points' to terrorism

FP Staff
·2-min read

French anti-terrorism prosecutors are investigating a knife attack at a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice that left two people dead and several injured.

The prosecutor's office and national police said that an investigation was opened into an attack with a terrorist connection after Thursday's stabbing.

The assailant was arrested after the Thursday morning attack and taken to a nearby hospital after being injured during his arrest, a police official said. He was believed to be acting alone, the official said.

She was not authorised to be publicly named.

BBC quoted Mayor Christian Estrosi as saying everything pointed to a "terrorist attack at the heart of the Notre-Dame basilica".

Estrosi said the attacker shouted "Allahu akbar!" repeatedly as police apprehended him and that "the meaning of his gesture left no doubt."

Speaking to reporters in Nice, Estrosi said two people were killed inside the church and a third person who escaped to a nearby bar was in a life-threatening condition.

Interior minister Gérald Darmanin appealed to people to avoid the area in the centre of the French Riviera city. He said he was convening a crisis meeting at the ministry in Paris, as per BBC.

Images on French media showed the neighborhood locked down and surrounded by police and emergency vehicles. Sounds of explosions could be heard as sappers exploded suspicious objects.

The incident comes as France is under high alert for terrorist attacks and as the country is reeling from the gruesome beheading of a history teacher in a street in a Paris suburb less than two weeks ago.

The beheading of Samuel Paty has sparked outrage in France and memories of a wave of Islamist violence in 2015 sparked by caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed published by Charlie Hebdo.

The Lower House of Parliament suspended a debate on new virus restrictions and held a moment of silence for the victims.

 

With inputs from agencies

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