Nice attack: ‘Terrorist attack’ in French city leaves three dead, one beheaded

A knife-wielding attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman and killed two others in a suspected terrorist attack near a church in the Notre-Dame area of Nice in the early hours of Thursday morning, reports the French media.

In an incident the city’s mayor described as terrorism, several others were injured.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi told reporters the suspect behind the attack had been arrested.

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He added that the attacker, who was seemingly acting alone, had shouted the phrase “Allahu Akbar”, or God is greatest.

“The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to hospital, he is alive,” Estrosi told reporters.

“Enough is enough. It’s time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory.”

One of the people killed inside the church was believed to be the church warden, Estrosi said, adding that a woman had tried to escape from inside the church and had fled into a bar opposite the building.

Estrosi added that the victims had been killed in a “horrible way”.

The scene where a knife attack took place at a church that killed three people and wounded several others in the Mediterranean city of Nice.
The scene where a knife attack took place at a church that killed three people and wounded several others in the Mediterranean city of Nice.

“The methods match, without doubt, those used against the brave teacher in Conflans Sainte Honorine, Samuel Paty,” he said, referring to the beheading earlier this month of French middle school teacher Samuel Paty in Paris by a man of Chechen origin.

French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, said an anti-terrorism investigation has been launched and that he would be holding a crisis meeting.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “I am appalled to hear the news from Nice this morning of a barbaric attack at the Notre-Dame Basilica.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and the UK stands steadfastly with France against terror and intolerance.”

The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi (right).

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “This is absolutely terrible and we are devastated for the people of France with the news that we are hearing so far.

“Clearly we need to find out much more information and this is early stages and of course we will speak to our colleagues in France, I will speak to my counterpart later today.”

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