3 killed, 1 beheaded, in suspected terror attack in France

The deadly incident unfolded Thursday morning outside the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Nice

By Jessica Schladebeck
New York Daily News

NICE, France — One woman was decapitated and at least two others were killed inside a church in France during what authorities have called a suspected terror attack.

The deadly incident unfolded outside the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Nice around 9 a.m., local time on Thursday , ABC News reported.

“Thank you to our municipal police officers who arrested the author of the stabbing attack in the Notre Dame sector at #Nice06,” Mayor Christian Estrosi said in a tweet.

“I ask the people of Nice to avoid the area.”

The assailant was injured as officers attempted to take them into custody, about a half-mile from the site in 2016 where another attacker plowed a truck into a Bastille Day crowd, killing dozens. The incident also comes nearly two weeks after the killing of school teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded in a terror attack in a Paris suburb on October 16.

Police sources told the Associated Press they believe the armed suspect was acting alone and that they are not looking for additional suspects.

Estrosi told reporters later Thursday morning everything pointed to a “terrorist attack at the heart of the Notre-Dame basilica."

“He cried ‘Allah Akbar!’ over and over, even after he was injured,” he told BFM television. “The meaning of his gesture left no doubt.”

The Nice mayor during his television appearance confirmed three people had been killed, two inside the church and another who attempted to flee but later died from their injuries. One of the victims, Estrosi added, was the church’s caretaker.

Some people were also injured in the morning violence, though the total number is unclear as are the extent of their injuries.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the killings, which marked the third attack since September, which saw the start of a terrorism trial in the January 2015 killings at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.

(c)2020 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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