On Thursday, several people were killed in a knife attack in Nice, France, with the city’s mayor saying that everything "leads us to think" that this was an act of terrorism. Here is what is known so far about the stabbing:
- A knife-wielding man carried an assault at and near the Notre Dame Cathedral in central Nice on Thursday morning;
- Three people were killed as a result of the attack, including a woman who was reportedly beheaded. Two of the victims were reportedly murdered inside the church, including the warden, as several others were injured;
Bouleversé par les 3 victimes dont 2 décédées a l’intérieur de la Basilique #NotreDame et notamment le gardien si apprécié par les paroissiens. #Nice06 a payé un trop lourd tribu au meme titre que notre pays depuis quelques années. J’appelle à l’unité des Niçois.— Christian Estrosi (@cestrosi) October 29, 2020
- The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said on Twitter that everything suggests that “this was a terror attack in the Notre-Dame Basilica”.
- The suspected perpetrator, whose identity is not yet known, was reportedly shot by the police while being apprehended. Estrosi later said that the suspect is currently in hospital;
© REUTERS / TWITTER / @CESTROSINice Mayor Christian Estrosi talks to Municipal Police at the site of a knife attack in church in Nice, France, October 29, 2020 in this still image obtained from social media
- According to Nice's mayor, the suspected attacker was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” even after his arrest;
- It was later reported by Nice-Matin newspaper, that the man could have had an accomplice;
- France’s anti-terrorist body has opened an investigation into the attack, citing “killing linked to a terrorist organisation”;
- The area around the Notre-Dame Basilica, which is located on Jean Medecin Avenue, has been cordoned off by the police; fire service vehicles and ambulances were also spotted at the scene;
- Mayor Estori announced that all churches and places of worship in Nice will be shut down and placed under video surveillance in the wake of the attack;
- French President Emmanuel Macron is currently on his way to Nice;
- French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced nation will now introduce a "Vigipirate Counter-Terrorism" plan following the stabbing;
- The attack comes less than two weeks after the death of Paris teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded on 16 October after showing Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of Prophet Mohammad in one of his classes on freedom of speech. French President Emmanuel Macron defended the freedom to display cartoons, calling Paty "quite a hero".