A terrorist attack occurred this morning in the Notre Dame church in Nice, a city in southeastern France. Local media reported that many people were injured and three people were killed in the incident, including one man and two women. The suspect had repeatedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest) and was shot down by police officers.
The French anti-terrorism department is investigating the case. Meanwhile, the French government immediately raised the national security alert to the highest level. President Macron has also arrived at the scene to understand the situation.
French anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard later said the attacker was seriously wounded by police. He also said that the suspect was a 21-year-old Tunisian national who had arrived in France earlier this month. He had a document issued by the Italian Red Cross.
All three were in the basilica before the first Mass of the day when the attacker struck.
Two died inside the church:
- a 60-year-old woman who was “virtually beheaded”, and
- Vincent Loquès, a 55-year-old man whose throat was cut. He was a lay member of staff responsible for the maintenance and welcoming visitors to the church.
Another woman, Simone Barreto Silva, aged 44, managed to flee to a nearby cafe after being stabbed several times, but died later.
In addition to Nice, some people in Montfavet, Avignon, France, also threatened passers-by with guns on the same day. An Afghan man in Lyon got into a car with a long knife. In the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, someone was arrested after stabbing a security guard at the French consulate with a knife. Nowadays, many Muslim countries dissatisfy with Macron’s earlier remarks against Islam and have launched demonstrations in the country, even calling for a boycott of French goods.
The police have completely blocked the Notre Dame Cathedral and the surrounding area.
Macron told reporters that the government has decided to increase their vigilance throughout France to deal with terrorist threats. “In the next few hours, we will mobilize more soldiers, and we will mobilize domestic 3000 to 7000 soldiers.”
On Thursday, French Prime Minister Jean Castel announced that the country’s anti-terrorism security plan alert system will be upgraded, and the entire territory of France will enter an “emergency attack” state, which is the highest level of the security alert system.
Moreover, the recent series of attacks related to France began with the beheading of Samuel Paty, who had shown the Islamic prophet Mohammed cartoons to students, on the 16th of this month. He also drafted laws that violate Muslim customs and was accused of using secularism to suppress Islam, igniting the anger of Muslims at home and abroad.
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