01:50 GMT02 December 2020
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    On Thursday, at least three people were killed in a terrorist attack at and near the Notre Dame Basilica, located in the French city of Nice.

    Mohsen Dali, an official with Tunisia's judiciary, has said that Brahim al-Aouissaoui, the Tunisian suspect in the deadly Nice attack, was arrested for violence and using a knife back in 2016.

    The statement comes as the Tunisian Public Prosecutor's Office ordered to launch an investigation into the alleged existence of the so-called Al Mahi terror organisation and its possible involvement in the Nice attack, according to the state-run news agency TAP.

    Security forces guard the area after a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice, France
    © REUTERS / ERIC GAILLARD
    Security forces guard the area after a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice, France

    This followed French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin saying earlier in the day that he does not rule out more terrorist attacks on French territory as the country is engaged in a "war against Islamist ideology".

    Darmanin told the Berlin-based station RTL Radio that France is "at war against an enemy that is both inside and outside", adding that the country needs "to understand that there have been and there will be other events such as these terrible attacks".

    The minister echoed President Emmanuel Macron who told reporters on Thursday that France was "under terrorist attack again" after a fatal stabbing in Nice, and that the country would not give up its values due to an "Islamist terrorist attack".

    The president also pledged to deploy 7,000 soldiers to protect key sites around the country as France's national security alert has been increased to the highest level.

    On Thursday, at least three people were killed by a knife-wielding man at and near the Notre Dame Basilica, located on Nice's Avenue Jean Medecin, with French anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard then confirming that the 21-year-old attacker was originally from Tunisia and that he had arrived in France on 9 October.

    The attack came less than two weeks after Paris-based teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by an attacker on 16 October after Paty showed Charlie Hebdo's caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in one of his classes on freedom of speech.

    Cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are considered blasphemous by Muslims, and the publication of such cartoons led to a deadly shooting in Charlie Hebdo's office back in 2015, when 12 people were killed and 11 more injured as a result of the attack.

    Related:

    Nice Attack: Terrorism Won't be Thwarted Until International Community Come Together, Observers Say
    French Police Reportedly Detain Man Who Could Have Been in Contact With Nice Knife Attacker
    Aftermath of Knife Attack in Nice Where Three People Died - Video
    Tags:
    troops, deployment, Emmanuel Macron, violence, attack, Tunisia, Nice, France
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