Three people have been killed and two others injured in a suspected terrorist attack inside the Notre Dame church in Nice, France.
Reports from French media, citing French police, said that one elderly victim was “virtually beheaded” and another man had his throat cut. The elderly woman and the man died in the church, while the third victim, a woman, had managed to flee the church after being stabbed multiple times but died later of her injuries.
Nice’s mayor Christian Estrosi tweeted that “everything suggests” the attacks were a terrorist attack. The mayor added that one person had been arrested and taken to a nearby hospital after being shot and injured by police during his arrest.
Je suis sur place avec la @PoliceNat06 et la @pmdenice qui a interpellé l’auteur de l’attaque. Je confirme que tout laisse supposer à un attentat terroriste au sein de la basilique Notre-Dame de #Nice06. pic.twitter.com/VmpDqRwzB1
— Christian Estrosi (@cestrosi) October 29, 2020
The mayor added that the attacker had shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) while being restrained by police.
“Enough is enough…we have to remove this Islamo-fascism from our territory,” said the mayor following the attack, reports the Guardian.
Hours after the attack, Saudi Arabian media reported that a guard at the French Consulate in Jeddah had been attacked. The attacker was arrested and the guard taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The attack in Nice comes 13 days after French teacher Samuel Paty was murdered and beheaded by Abdoullakh Abouyedovich Anzorov, an 18-year-old Russian-born refugee of Chechen descent. The motive is alleged to be Paty’s display of a five-year-old Charlie Hebdo cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad during a class on freedom of expression.
Following Paty’s murder, Macron again condemned extremism and radicalism while also stressing that France would not “renounce the caricatures [of the Prophet]”.
This statement, which the French President says is a defence of freedom of expression, sparked anger, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling the French President “mentally ill”.
Across the Muslim world, there have been calls for the boycott of France and French brands in response to the French President’s comments.