The French President Emmanuel Macron responded to the attack saying France "will not give into terrorism."
In a tragic turn of events in France's Nice, a knife-wielding attacker killed three people on October 29. The attack took place inside a church in the city center at 9 am. Two women and a man, who was the warden of the Notre-Dame Basilica, passed away. The attacker was shot in the shoulder and injured by the police.
The incident was described as a "vision of horror" by the police, according to the Guardian. The national anti-terrorism prosecutor said that an investigation has begun into "killings linked to a terrorist organization." The country is reeling after this tragedy, which could have been worse as another attacker on the same day was shot to death in the street at Avignon by police.
The first attacker killed a 70-year-old woman, another woman in her 40s who was able to run out of the church but succumbed to her injuries, and the church warden, who was a male. French media named the attacker as Brahim Aoussaoui, who is reportedly a 21-year-old Tunisian national. He had no identity papers on him but traveled to France via Lampedusa in Italy at the beginning of October.
France attack: Soon after the sexton of the Notre Dame church in Nice started work, a man armed with a knife entered the church and slit the throat of the sexton, beheaded an elderly woman, and badly wounded a third woman, according to a police source https://t.co/BrYIq9qC8d pic.twitter.com/IUSjlKosh3— Reuters (@Reuters) October 29, 2020
The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said the suspect had uttered "Allahu Akbar" multiple times while being handcuffed. "We have two people killed inside the church … and a third person who was in a bar facing the church where she had taken refuge," Estrosi said.
The French President Emmanuel Macron also responded to the attack. He said France "will not give into terrorism," as per CNN. Tunisia is also investigating the suspect, the country's Public Prosecutor's Office said.
"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the hideous and brutal attack which took place in Nice today.— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) October 29, 2020
My thoughts are with the victims of this appalling act.
We are united and determined in the face of fanaticism and barbarism.”
President @vonderleyen pic.twitter.com/GVcKkpAU8Z
After the terror attack, France increased its terror alert level to "emergency," French Prime Minister Jean Castex said. He further added that the government's response would be "firm, implacable, and immediate."
While people are blaming a certain community for the attack, France's Council of the Muslim Faith strongly denounced the attack and asked French Muslims to cancel the religious celebration of Eid, which marks the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed.
"I strongly condemn the terrorist attack that took place near the Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice. As a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their families, I call on the Muslims of France to cancel all the Mawlid festivities," the council stated in a post on its Twitter account.
The country also showed its solidarity by ringing church bells. "Like a symbol, the Notre-Dame basilica is still ringing. It is our country and its history that are hit today in Nice," said Eric Ciotti, a French lawmaker who represents the city of Nice at the National Assembly. He added, "Islamist barbarism will never silence us!"
'It is very clear that it's France under attack.'— SkyNews (@SkyNews) October 29, 2020
The French president Emmanuel Macron has visited Nice after a suspected terror attack in the city left three people dead.
Latest on this story here: https://t.co/LRZrkqHXHG pic.twitter.com/6aJaWZDksJ
The attack on Nice came after a history teacher, Samuel Paty, 47, was killed outside the school he taught at earlier this month. He had shown his class caricatures, including one of the Prophet Mohammed, during a discussion on free speech. The French president had promised a crackdown on extremists after that.