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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

BREAKING: Two dead after knife attack outside France church in Nice

The attack is being investigated for terrorist motives [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 October, 2020

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Two have been killed outside a church in the French city of Nice in an attack that is being investigated for terrorist motives.

A man wielding a knife outside a church in the southern French city of Nice killed two people, including one whose throat was slit, and injured several others before police apprehended him, officials said Thursday.

The suspected assailant was detained shortly afterwards the attack by security forces around nine am, a police source said.

"The situation is now under control," police spokeswoman Florence Gavello said.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said on Twitter, "I can confirm everything lets us think this was a terror attack in the Notre-Dame Basilica," in central Nice.

France's national anti-terror prosecutors said Thursday they have opened a murder inquiry after a man killed three people at a basilica in central Nice and wounded several others.

The city's mayor, Christian Estrosi, told journalists at the scene that the assailant, detained shortly afterwards by police, "kept repeating 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Greater) even while under medication."

He added that President Emmanuel Macron would be arriving shortly in Nice.

France has been on high alert for terror attacks since the January 15 massacre at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and the trial of suspected accomplices in that attack is currently underway in Paris.

A wave of jihadist attacks on French soil, often by so-called "lone wolf" assailants, has killed more than 250 people since 2015.

The assault prompted lawmakers in parliament to hold a minute of silence, before Prime Minister Jean Castex and other ministers abruptly left for an emergency meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.


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