Three people have been killed and several others wounded after a knife attack near a church in the French city of Nice.
The victims were two women and a man. One has been reported to be a 70-year-old woman who was allegedly beheaded in the church.
Mayor Christian Estrosi said on Twitter the knife attack had happened in or near the city’s Notre Dame church and that police had detained the attacker. He described the attack as terrorism.
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
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 19th century neo-Gothic building.
“The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to hospital, he is alive,” Estrosi said.
“Enough is enough,” Estrosi said. “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.”
Police armed with automatic weapons had put up a security cordon around the church, which is on Nice’s Jean Medecin Avenue, the city’s main shopping thoroughfare. Ambulances and fire service vehicles were also at the scene.
The attack came just hours after French President Emmanuel Macron announced a sweeping new national lockdown will begin on Friday to tackle surging cases of COVID-19 in the country, once again confining people to their homes. “Everyone is in a state of shock,” said Lauren Provost, the editorial director of HuffPost France. “The simultaneity of a new barbaric attack with the second wave of the pandemic and the lockdown is weakening the entire country. Right now, the present...