France: Days after teacher's beheading, three killed in knife attack
In a deplorable incident, a knife-wielding attacker killed three people, including a woman, at a church in the French city of Nice, police said on Thursday. Several others are said to be injured. Mayor Christian Estrosi informed that the attack happened in or near the Notre Dame church and that the accused has been detained. He dubbed the attack as an act of terrorism.
Area has been cordoned off, people asked to avoid locality
As the news of the attack surfaced, first responders were seen rushing to the area. The area has now been barricaded. "I ask the people of Nice to avoid the area to let the police and the emergency services work," said Estrosi. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin revealed a police operation is underway. He would chair a crisis meeting soon.
Attacker shouted "Allahu Akbar" after arrest
As per Reuters, the deceased woman was beheaded by the attacker. To reporters, the mayor told that the attacker had been shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) after he was nabbed. France, where Islam is the second most-followed religion, has come under attack by jihadist elements quite frequently in the last couple of years; the worst being the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015.
Earlier this month, an Islamist beheaded a teacher in France
The incident in Nice comes just days after the killing of Samuel Paty, a teacher, in capital Paris by a jihadist. Paty was beheaded because of his lesson on freedom of speech. He had shown the works of Charlie Hebdo to the class, irking some parents. His death was termed as an act of Islamist terrorism by the country's President Emmanuel Macron.
Angered after Paty's death, France spoke of its rights
After Paty's brutal decapitation, French citizens got increasingly vocal, asserting their rights to publish cartoons, which Muslims consider blasphemous. Macron also put himself at the receiving end of ire from leaders like Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan by speaking against radical Islam. Later, to show support toward Macron, Charlie Hebdo published Erdogan's cartoon, only to become the latest friction point between the two nations.
Unsurprisingly, the Muslim world is unhappy with France
France's tough stand against radical Islam has not only miffed Turkey but also countries like Kuwait and Qatar, where French products were removed from supermarkets to lodge a protest against Macron. However, countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and India have lent support to France by criticizing the poor language used against Macron and also condemning the acts of terrorism that shook the European nation.