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, had committed a massacre in a rented truck within minutes of 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. German security circles say the “modus operandi” of the attack “clearly speaks in favor of an Islamist act of terrorism”. There is probably a connection with the very emotional debate about the Mohammed cartoons in France. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s violent attacks on French President Emmanuel Macron for his stance on the cartoons continued to heat fanatic Muslims, he said.
Attackers from Nice apparently mimicked Samuel Paty’s murderer
The attack in Nice is apparently a “reaction” after the attack on the teacher Samuel Paty. On October 16, Russian-Chechen Islamist Abdullah Anzorov beheaded Paty in the Parisian suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine because the teacher had discussed the Mohammed cartoons in class on the subject of freedom of speech.
There is also a high risk of copying in Germany
Anzorov, who was shot by police, is being celebrated as a martyr on the internet, according to security circles. In English, Arabic, Urdu and other languages, people are encouraged to imitate the attack. The danger of a similar attack in Germany as on Paty and now in Nice is great. “Even though it was quiet for a while in Germany, the Islamist terrorist threat has always remained high,” said an expert. This was just shown by the attack in Dresden. There, Syrian Abdullah Al HH stabbed a tourist on October 4 and seriously injured another.
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution considers 2,000 Islamists to be potential terrorists
In Germany, police currently classify 619 Islamists as threats and thus as potential terrorists, according to security circles. Another 500 Islamists are considered “relevant people”, that is, potential supporters of violent criminals. The full personal potential of Islamist terrorists is even greater, he said. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution from 2000 people. The intelligence agency is reaching a higher number than the police because it has its sights set not only on criminals but also dangerous people on an extremist spectrum as a whole.
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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)