German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that she was “deeply shaken by the cruel murder in the church” in Nice, where on Thursday alleged Islamic terrorist killed three people with a knife, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
Here is the background to the story:
Three people were killed, including one having his head cut off and several injured in a knife attack in the Basilica of Notre Dame in Nice. The perpetrator who shouted “Allahu Akbar” was arrested. The investigation was initiated by the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT).
According to police sources cited by the AFP agency, two people – a man and a woman – died in Notre Dame Basilica, and a third, badly injured, died in a nearby bar where she took refuge.
The mayor of Nice, Chrisian Estrosi, immediately went to the scene of the attack, informing on his Twitter that the perpetrator was arrested and that “everything indicates that there was a terrorist attack in the Notre Dame Basilica.” Estrosi reported that the perpetrator repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great) even after being stopped by the police.
The police transported the shot terrorist to hospital. The attack was launched by the national anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office (PNAT).
The attack took place on Thursday around 9 am. The vicinity of Notre Dame Basilica was cordoned off by a police force; the officers were equipped with automatic weapons. Witnesses spoke of the panic that broke out after the attack.
The head of the Ministry of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, launched a crisis cell in connection with the attack. It happened in a situation of increased terrorist threat, about which the chief of police informed in a note two days ago.
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The Elysée Palace announced that French President Emmanuel Macron was going to Nice on Thursday.
The mayor of Nice declared that everything must be done to “permanently destroy Islamophascism in our territory.” “That’s it, now it’s time for France to free itself from the (duty) rights of peace and finally destroy Islamophascism on our territory,” he stressed.
He called for “all churches to be monitored or closed, as well as all other places of worship in the city.”
Estrosi added that one of the victims, “a woman, was attacked in the same way as Samuel Paty,” confirming earlier reports from police sources. The mayor of Nice referred to the decapitation of Paty’s history teacher, which was carried out on October 16 by a Chechen Islamist, then killed by the police.
The deputies of the National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, honored the victims of the attack with a minute of silence.
The head of the far-right National Union, Marine Le Pen, issued a statement in relation to the attack and called for the closure of “all radical organizations” of an Islamist nature. “It is an ideology that poses a threat to us (…). Nothing has been done in this regard for years, ”Le Pen emphasized, calling for“ protection of the French ”.
The attack was strongly condemned by a representative of the French Council for Muslim Worship (DFCM). “As a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their loved ones, I call on all Muslims in France to cancel all Mawlid celebrations,” commemorating the birth of Muhammad.