Terrorism3 Killed in Terrorist Knife Attack in Nice, France

Published 29 October 2020

An Islamist terrorist killed three people in Nice, France, before being shot and wounded by the police. The 21 years old attacker, a Tunisian citizen who arrived in France in late September, told police he had acted alone. The French government has beefed up security around religious institutions.

An Islamist terrorist killed three people in Nice, France, before being shot and wounded by the police. The 21 years old attacker, a Tunisian citizen who arrived in France in late September, told police he had acted alone. The French government has beefed up security around religious institutions.

Here is the latest information about the attack:

There are three dead, including two women; several people were injured
According to a police source quoted in Le Figaro, an elderly woman on her way to pray at the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption church in Nice, in south France, early in the morning, was found slaughtered and “almost beheaded” near the holy water font inside the church. A second victim, a man, was found dead in a different part of the church. A third victim, a woman, who had managed to escape the church and who ran to a nearby café with the attacker in pursuit, was killed just inside the café, where the attacker also stabbed and injured several customers who were already there.

The perpetrator arrested and taken to hospital
The municipal police shot and wounded the attacker, and he was taken to a hospital. He is a 21-year-old Tunisian named Brahim Aoussaoui. He arrived in France via the island of Lampedusa at the end of September, and told interrogators that he was not seeking asylum in France, and that he  acted alone.

He had been quarantined by the Italian authorities before agreeing to leave Italian territory, and left Italy to go to France.

Emmanuel Macron denounces “an Islamist terrorist attack”
President Emmanuel Macron visited the site of the attack, denouncing the “Islamist terrorist attack.” He added” “France is under attack.”

Macron announced an increase from 3,000 to 7,000 troops for Operation Sentinel, launched by the government a few months ago  to protect places of worship and schools.

Former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande both denounced an act of “barbarism.”

The extreme gravity of the situation demands strong, immediate and irreversible decisions,” Sarkozy tweeted, adding: “France must show unwavering determination and great composure so as not to fall into the trap into which the enemies of democracy want to lure us.”

“Once again, Nice is struck by barbarism, once again France is attacked by Islamist terrorism. Democracy is our weapon, it will always be the strongest against its enemies,” Hollande tweeted.

The National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation
The anti-terrorist prosecution immediately opened an investigation for “murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association.”

Following the attack in Nice, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin immediately put in place increased surveillance of places of worship and cemeteries.

The attack echoes the attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine
The modus operandi 0f today’s attack is reminiscent of the Islamist attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) on 16 October. The first victim in Nice was killed by the perpetrator who tried to behead her. Two weeks earlier, Samuel Paty, a history and geography teacher, had been beheaded by Abdouallakh Anzorov.

The Nice attack also echoes two other Islamist attacks. The one that occurred in the same town on 14 July 2016. Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel had murdered 86 people and injured 458 others by driving a truck into the crowd gathered on the Promenade des Anglais for the fireworks scheduled for the Bastille Day, before being shot by police. Today’s attack also recalls the attack that took place in a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray (Seine-Maritime) on 26 July 2016. Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean had stabbed and killed the Father Jacques Hamel inside his church and injured a parishioner, before taking three people hostage. They had been shot dead by law enforcement.

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