An attack which saw a woman beheaded, another two peopled killed, and several others injured by a knife-wielding attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar” took place at Notre Dame basilica in Nice this morning.
Christian Estrosi, the city’s mayor and the regional president of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, has described the killings, which took place at the basilica of Notre-Dame, as a “terrorist attack”. The General Directorate of Internal Security and the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police have been directed to investigate the killings, French broadcaster BMFTV reports.
“Enough is enough,” Estrosi said. “Now is the time for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory.”
The church’s warden is said to have been among the two victims that were discovered dead inside of the basilica. A third victim is said to have died from her injuries in a bar opposite of the church after managing to escape from it.
It is the third major Islamic terrorist attack in France in the last two months and the second beheading.Thursday’s attack comes shortly after French history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded outside of his school in northwest Paris by a Chechen Muslim terrorist for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his students, Remix News reported.
“The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to hospital, he is alive,” the mayor told journalists. According to a report from the French newspaper Le Figaro, the terrorist is in his twenties and told police that his name is “Brahim”.
Following a special government crisis meeting held on Thursday morning, President Emmanuel Macron made his way to Nice.
National Rally’s Marine Le Pen responded to the attack on Twitter, writing, “The dramatic acceleration of Islamist acts of war against our fellow citizens and our country imposes on our leaders a comprehensive response aimed at the eradication of Islamism from our soil.”
L’accélération dramatique des actes de guerre islamistes contre nos concitoyens et notre pays impose à nos dirigeants une réponse globale visant à l’éradication de l’islamisme de notre sol. MLP #Nice06 #NotreDame
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) October 29, 2020
“All our thoughts to the victims, their families, the Catholics and the people of Nice once again struck by Islamist barbarism,” Le Pen added.
MP Eric Ciotti, who represents Nice and the surrounding area in the National Assembly, France’s lawmaking body, announced that the entire country was in mourning on Thursday.
“Like a symbol, the Notre Dame basilica is still ringing. It is our country and its history that are hit today in Nice,” Ciotti said on Twitter.
He added: “Islamist barbarism will never silence us!”
Four years ago, the coastal city of Nice was the target of one of the country’s deadliest terror attacks in recent memory, when a Tunisian man drove a truck into seaside crowds celebrating Bastille Day on July 14, killing 86 people. Over 250 people have died in Islamic terror attacks in France since 2015.
The gruesome attack inspired acts of defiance and government crackdowns against Islamic terrorism and separatism in the country. Last week, the mayor of Occitanie region, Carole Delga, made the bold decision to project massive Charlie Hebdo cartoons, some of which depicted the Islamic prophet, on hotels in Toulouse and Montpellier. The move has sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.
Over the weekend, Marine Le Pen, the president of France’s populist National Rally party, urged the government to declare war on the ideology of Islamism, insisting that it should be regarded as “an enemy of France”.
During an appearance on the television show Le Grand Jury, Le Pen said, “A war is being waged against us, and we must wage this war. We are not waging this war against a State, but against an ideology: Islamism.”
Also over the weekend, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lashed out at Macron for his tough rhetoric against Islamic separatism in France, saying that he requires “mental health treatment”.
Erdoğan, along with several prominent political figures and organizations in the Middle East, have called on their people to boycott all French goods.