The French President stated the number of soldiers deployed for public protection will increase from 3,000 to 7,000.
At least three people were killed and several wounded in a terror attack in France. According to The Guardian, two women and a man lost their lives in a terrorist attack inside the Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice by a man armed with a knife. The horrific incident took place at 9 AM on October 29, 2020.
The police sources stated that the attacker slit the throat of a church sacristan, beheaded a woman reported to be 70 years old, and severely injured another woman in her 40s. The 40-year-old later succumbed to her injuries. The authorities were alerted after a witness managed to raise the alarm with the help of a special protection system set up by the city.
France attack: Soon after the sexton of the Notre Dame church in Nice started work, a man armed with a knife entered the church and slit the throat of the sexton, beheaded an elderly woman, and badly wounded a third woman, according to a police source https://t.co/BrYIq9qC8d pic.twitter.com/IUSjlKosh3— Reuters (@Reuters) October 29, 2020
"We heard many people shouting in the street. We saw from the window that there were many, many policemen coming, and gunshots, many gunshots," said Chloe, a witness who lives next to the church, according to the BBC.
Those who attack innocents within or near places of worship are especially evil.— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) October 29, 2020
The events in Nice, #France overlap with the 2 year anniversary of the mass shooting inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh - where a white gunman killed 11 people. May they RIP. pic.twitter.com/yMmLKhFC67
The attacker identified by the name Brahim Aoussaoui was shot on the shoulder by the police. Later, he was admitted to the hospital. French anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard stated the attacker was seriously wounded by police.
A 47-year-old man who is suspected to have had links with the attacker who killed three people at a church in Nice has been arrested by French investigators https://t.co/BICGkFm88a— LBC (@LBC) October 30, 2020
Reportedly, Aoussaoui is a 21-year-old Tunisian national who arrived in France at the beginning of October. According to the BBC, he had a document issued by the Italian Red Cross. The authorities also stated that the young man had traveled by boat from Tunisia to the island of Lampedusa in September 2020. After being put in quarantine due to the pandemic, he was asked to leave Italy.
An investigation has been opened into the “killings linked to a terrorist organization," said the national anti-terrorist prosecutor. The police are also verifying the name of the attacker.
Following the attack, the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi stated, "We have two people killed inside the church … and a third person who was in a bar facing the church where she had taken refuge."
'It is very clear that it's France under attack.'— SkyNews (@SkyNews) October 29, 2020
The French president Emmanuel Macron has visited Nice after a suspected terror attack in the city left three people dead.
Latest on this story here: https://t.co/LRZrkqHXHG pic.twitter.com/6aJaWZDksJ
French president Emmanuel Macron condemned the attack and said, "If we are attacked once again it is for the values which are ours: freedom, for the possibility on our soil to believe freely and not to give in to any spirit of terror. I say it with great clarity once again today: we won't surrender anything." He also affirmed an increase in the number of soldiers deployed from 3,000 to 7,000 to protect the public.
Also, another report of a man threatening passersby in the street at Avignon emerged just two hours after the Nice attack. Police reportedly shot the man after he threatened them.
"We are in mourning. My sadness is infinite as a human in front of what other beings, called humans, can commit," Monsignor André Marceau said. "At this moment, all the churches of Nice are closed until further notice, and placed under police protection."https://t.co/vFGRrHpYlu— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) October 29, 2020
These incidents are particularly concerning as it comes just two weeks after the beheading of Samuel Paty, a history teacher killed for showing caricatures of Prophet Muhammad during a free speech discussion in class. His murder prompted the French president to take a strong stand against extremist organizations.
He promised to crack down on those that are fanning radicalism and violence in the country. France will keep "loving debates, reasonable arguments, we will love science and its controversies. We will not give up caricatures, drawings, even if others are retreating," added Macron, while paying tribute to the late educator, according to CNN.