A woman has been decapitated during a knife attack near the Notre Dame Basilica church in the French city of Nice, according to French media citing unidentified police sources. Reports say three people are dead and several others are injured. The French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has confirmed a police operation is underway.
French anti-terrorism prosecutors are investigating a knife attack at a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice that killed two people and injured several, reported Associated Press.
In a statement to reporters, the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi spoke of “Islamofacism” in relation to the attack. 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”.
The prosecutor’s office and national police said that an investigation was opened into an attack with a terrorist connection after Thursday’s stabbing. The exact motive of the attack was unclear but comes as France is under high alert for terrorist acts amid tensions over the publication of caricatures of the Muslim prophet Muhammad and after two other recent attacks.
The assailant was arrested after the Thursday morning attack and taken to a nearby hospital after being injured during his arrest, an unidentified police official told the agency. He was believed to be acting alone, the official said.
The reason for the attack is unclear. It comes as France is under high alert for terrorist attacks. The lower house of parliament suspended a debate on new virus restrictions and held a moment of silence for the victims.