Three Dead And Multiple People Injured In Suspected Terror Attack In France
Three people have been killed and several more injured following a suspected terror attack in the south of France.
The mass stabbing occurred at the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice today (October 29) at approximately 9am, leading to a major police operation. The suspected perpetrator has reportedly since been arrested.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has now confirmed that he will be chairing a crisis meeting, and has urged people to stay away from the area in question.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has suggested this was a terrorist incident, stating:
I am on site with the [police] who arrested the perpetrator of the attack. I confirm that everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice.
Photographs taken at the scene show the area around the Notre-Dame basilica appearing to be almost completely deserted, with armed police having set up a cordon.
As per Reuters, it’s feared that a woman was decapitated during the knife attack.
As per Sky News, the suspect was taken to a nearby hospital after having suffered injuries during his arrest. It’s believed he had been acting alone.
An eyewitness at the scene told Nice-Matin:
My colleagues were smoking downstairs. They hurried upstairs indicating that there was a madman outside. We heard several shots. Six or seven.
About 20 of us took refuge in the office. It was very distressing. We saw the police and the CRS enter the church. We moved away from the windows.
The French parliament reportedly suspended a debate on new virus restrictions to hold a moment of silence for the victims of the attack.
As reported by Reuters, the French anti-terrorist prosecutor’s department has been asked to investigate the incident.
This incident has occurred shortly after France tightened security at religious sites, with the country said to be currently facing a ‘very high’ risk of terrorist threats.
Earlier this month, France was left shocked by the beheading of French middle school teacher Samuel Paty in Paris. Paty was reportedly targeted after he showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his pupils.
The following day, President Macron told reporters:
One of our fellow citizens was assassinated today because he was teaching, he was teaching pupils about freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe. Our compatriot was cowardly attacked, was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack.
President Macron later stated that France would not ‘renounce the caricatures’ of Prophet Muhammad, with cartoons from satirical publication Charlie Hebdo projected onto government buildings last week as an expression of solidarity.
Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this attack.
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