Police reports say a knife attack in the southern French coastal city of Nice has left three dead – two women and the church overseer – and at least six injured. Police circles say a woman’s throat has been cut. The act took place around 9 am.
The woman and the church overseer were murdered in Notre Dame Church on Thursday afternoon, as far as information was available. According to information from the newspaper “Le Monde”, the second woman was murdered in a bar opposite the church after fleeing seriously injured, according to the local newspaper “Nice-matin”.
For the Mayor of Nice, the act resembles a terrorist attack. Photo: REUTERS / Eric Gaillard
The anti-terrorist public prosecutor’s office is responsible for the investigation. Police advised avoiding the area and initially did not officially comment on the details.
The alleged perpetrator has been arrested, according to the city council. He has been shot by the police several times and taken to a hospital.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin confirmed the incident without first providing details. There is an emergency meeting in the ministry. Department head Darmanin had warned several times about a high risk of terrorism in the country. The police is investigating the case. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi tweeted that the alleged perpetrator had been arrested.
“This pain is felt by all of us in Europe”
After a visit to the Interior Ministry’s crisis team, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, will travel to Nice at the end of the morning, Elysée announced.
Nice was hit by a terrorist attack in 2016, killing 86 people. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian, drove a rented truck for children, large families and foreign tourists in four minutes before being gunned down by police. Nearly 500 people were then injured.
According to the mayor of Nice, Estrosi, the act is like a terrorist attack. Chechen-born Islamist Abdouallakh Anzorov recently beheaded a history teacher near Paris. The case caused a stir in the country.
In 2016, a priest in a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray was slit the throat by two Islamists. A hostage situation followed.
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The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, called for unity. “We have a duty to stand up together against violence and those who want to incite and spread hatred,” the Italian wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
He was shocked and saddened by the news from Nice. “This pain is felt by all of us in Europe.” (Tsp, dpa, Reuters)