After an alleged Islamist attack in the coastal city of Nice, France has declared the highest terror warning level nationwide. According to police reports, the attacker killed three people in the Notre-Dame basilica on Thursday with a knife and cut one of the victims’ throats. The act caused international consternation. This was preceded by massive protests and threats against France in Muslim countries.
Macron classifies the attack as an “Islamist terrorist attack”
French President Emmanuel Macron has sharply condemned the “Islamist terrorist attack” in Nice, which left three dead. During a visit to the coastal city on Thursday, he said that the country would “not back down” in the dispute with Muslim countries over its values. At the same time, the head of state announced the deployment of 7,000 anti-terrorist forces in the army, which is more than twice as many as before.
According to the police, the perpetrator broke into the Catholic Church in the lively city center of Nice at around 9 a.m. He killed the sexton and a woman with a knife, another woman was initially able to take refuge in a bar, but where she succumbed to her injuries.
France proclaims the highest terror warning level
Nice’s Mayor Christian Estrosi said everything points to an Islamist attack. The alleged perpetrator said he shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) several times before the police shot him and wounded him and arrested him. The French anti-terrorist prosecutor pulled the investigation. The perpetrator is said to be 25 years old and call himself “Brahim”.
According to Mayor Christian Estrosi, a third victim was able to escape the perpetrator in a nearby café. As the police have now confirmed, the person has now succumbed to their serious injuries.
The French anti-terrorist prosecutor has now started the investigation. At noon, the France declared the highest terror warning level.
According to the mayor, the attacker was seriously injured by police shots and taken to a hospital.
The French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on Twitter that he would immediately initiate an emergency meeting at the Interior Ministry. French President Emmanuel Macron is also expected there.
Merkel “deeply shaken”
Chancellor Angela Merkel was “deeply shocked by the cruel murders in a church” in Nice. “My thoughts are with the relatives of the murdered and the injured,” said Merkel, according to her spokesman Steffen Seibert on Thursday in Berlin. “The French nation showed solidarity with Germany in these difficult hours,” added the Chancellor.
Further attacks in southern France and Saudi Arabia – background unclear
Shortly after the attack in Nice, further attacks took place in Avignon in southern France and in front of the French consulate in Saudi Arabia. In Avignon, a man is said to have threatened passers-by with a weapon, police officers then opened fire and killed the alleged attacker. Almost at the same time, a security guard in front of the French consulate in the city of Jeddah was slightly injured in an attack with a “sharp tool”. The attacker was arrested, as reported by the Saudi Arabian news agency SPA.
The French consulate spoke in a message of a “knife attack”. The background to both acts is still unclear, so far, according to reports, there are no signs of a terrorist background.
Man armed with a knife arrested in Lyon
Independently of the act in Nice, a man armed with a knife has been arrested in the center of Lyon. Witnesses had previously notified the police, as police circles announced on Thursday. The man was known to the security services, it said. Nobody was injured. There was initially no evidence of a connection with the fatal attack in Nice.
The newspaper “Le Parisien” also reported an arrest in Sartrouville, near Paris. The man is said to have confided in his father that he wanted to carry out an attack after the attack in Nice and that he had a knife with him, the newspaper said. There was initially no official confirmation.
At least three people were killed and others injured in the knife attack on Thursday in a church in Nice. The perpetrator was arrested. The anti-terror prosecutor’s office has taken over the investigation. France has declared the highest terror warning level.