France: Three killed as woman beheaded in knife attack at church in Nice

WION Web Team
Nice, France Published: Oct 29, 2020, 02.22 PM(IST)

Knife attack in Nice, France Photograph:( Twitter )

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The attack has left several injured, and three victims have succumbed to death

Weeks after the knife attack of the Paris teacher, another knife attack has taken place in the French city Nice. The attack has left several injured, and three victims have succumbed to death.

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Local reports have claimed that a woman was beheaded by an attacker with a knife who also killed two other people at a church on Thursday morning. The attack happened in or near the city's Notre Dame church and the police have detained the attacker, the Mayor reported. The motive of the attack is yet not clear. The attacker was shot by the police while being detained and has now been taken to a local hospital, and is alive. 

Mayor of the city has confirmed that the city is treating the incident as a terrorist attack. The French prosecutors have now opened a terror probe into this matter.

A video, uploaded by an onlooker on Twitter, shows the chaos on the streets immediately after the attacker charged.

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"I am on site with the @ PoliceNat06 and the @pmdenice who arrested the perpetrator of the attack. I confirm that everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Notre-Dame basilica of # Nice06," the Mayor tweeted with several pictures from the site of the attack.

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The Mayor also claimed that the attacker had repeatedly used the phrase "Ällah-Hu-Akbar". Local reporters at the scene said 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, and the area has been cordoned by the local police.

The "Islamo-fascist" assailant "didn't stop shouting Allahu Akhbar even under medication" after being shot and arrested, said Mr Estrosi, leaving "no doubt that this was a terror attack".

"As I speak there are without doubt two victims killed in the same manner as Samuel Paty."

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The Minister of the Interior is urging people to avoid coming to the area as the police investigation and rescue is underway. A crisis meeting has also started immediately after the attack. "#Nice : a police operation is in progress. Avoid the area and follow the instructions. After having had the mayor of Nice @cestrosi, I am chairing a crisis meeting at the Ministry of the Interior," tweeted Gérald Darmanin.

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The Mayor took to Twitter to thank the local authorities for handling the incident within minutes. "Thank you to our municipal police officers who arrested the author of a stabbing attack in the Notre Dame sector at # Nice06 . I ask the people of Nice to avoid the area to let the police and emergency services work," Christian Estrosi tweeted.

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The French President Emmanuel Macron will be visiting the site of the incident shortly, the local authorities have reported.

The incident has happened at a very critical time when France is fighting against continuous incidents aimed at the residents after the re-publishing of the infamous Charlie Hebdo caricature.

President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, also tweeted his condolences for the victims and the country. "I am deeply shocked and saddened by the news of the horrific attack in #Nice. This pain is felt by all of us in Europe. We have a duty to stand together against violence and those that seek to incite and spread hatred," he tweeted.

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The French anti-terrorism unit is investigating the matter.

This is a developing story. 

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