Three dead in knife attack at French church


NICE: A knife-wielding attacker killed three people at a church in France’s Nice city on Thursday, AP reported, citing authorities. France Prime Minister Jean Castex raised the country’s security threat level to “emergency”, the maximum one.

The assailant was wounded and hospitalised following the attack at the Notre Dame Church. It took place less than a kilometer away from a site in 2016 where another attacker drove a 25-tonne truck into a crowd, killing at least 84 people.

Two unidentified police officials said the attacker was believed to be acting alone and they were not searching for other assailants. Another official said one of the victims, a woman, was beheaded, according to Reuters.

French anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office has started an investigation into the killings. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi called the attack an “act of terrorism”. Estrosi said the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar”, meaning God is the greatest, repeatedly. “The meaning of his gesture left no doubt,” he said.

“The methods match, without doubt, those used against the brave teacher in Conflans Sainte Honorine, Samuel Paty,” he said, referring to the killing of a French teacher less than two weeks ago.

The mayor said one of those killed was believed to be a Church warden, adding that another woman tried to escape from the church and fled into a bar opposite the building.