Three people killed in stabbing assault and several more wounded, with mayor describing crime as act of ‘terrorism’.
PARIS:-An attacker with a knife killed at least three people and wounded several others at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, French officials said, in an incident the city’s mayor described as an act of “terrorism”.
Mayor Christian Estrosi said on Twitter that the attacker had been detained. French media said the suspect was in hospital.
Estrosi said one of the victims was killed in “horrible” way, “like the professor” – an apparent reference to the attack on French teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded in broad daylight earlier this month.
The exact motive of the attack was unclear.
The incident comes amid growing tensions between France and the Muslim world over French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent speech critiquing Islam, and amid renewed public support in France for the right to show caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
The caricatures, which are deeply offensive to Muslims, are part of a renewed debate on freedom of expression after Paty’s killing.
EU slams ‘barbarity and fanaticism’ after Nice attack
European Union leaders expressed solidarity with France and pledged to confront “those that seek to incite and spread hatred”.
“My thoughts are with the victims of this hateful act. All of Europe is in solidarity with France. We will remain united and determined in the face of barbarity and fanaticism,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said.
Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, dubbed the attack “abominable” and declared: All of Europe is with you.”
Turkey ‘strongly’ condemns knife attack in Nice
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the attack in the southern French city of Nice calling it “savage”.
Merkel voices solidarity with France after ‘brutal’ attack
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany stood with France after a “brutal” knife attack Thursday that claimed three lives at a church in the southern city of Nice.
“I am deeply shaken by the brutal murders in the church in Nice. My thoughts are with the relatives of those murdered and injured. Germany stands with France at this difficult time,” she said, in a tweet posted by her spokesman Steffen Seibert.