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France knife attack Highlights: PM Castex raises alert to ’emergency’ after killings in Nice

The attack comes while France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of French middle school teacher Samuel Paty by a man of Chechen origin.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 31, 2020 12:21:04 pm
France: Two dead in knife attack in Nice church, official says terrorism suspectedThe attack follows on the heels of a stabbing on October 29 that slightly wounded a guard at the French Consulate in the city of Jiddah. (Christian Estrosi/Twitter)

France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex said the country’s threat level will be raised to its maximum after an attack near a church killed three people Thursday in Nice. The city’s mayor described the incident as terrorism.

City Mayor Christian Estrosi stated on Twitter that the knife attack had happened in or near the city’s Notre Dame church and that the French authorities had detained the attacker. A police source informed Reuters that a woman was decapitated.

EXPLAINED | France, Emmanuel Macron and Islam

Meanwhile in another incident of stabbing in Saudi Arabia,  a Saudi man was arrested in Jeddah after attacking a guard with a “sharp tool” at the French consulate on Thursday, Reuters quoted Saudi state TV as saying.

ALSO READ | India slams Turkey, Pakistan for attacks on Macron

The two attacks come while France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of French middle school teacher Samuel Paty in Paris by a man of Chechen origin.

Live Blog

Follow this space for the latest developments on the stabbing attack at a church in France and the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:

00:32 (IST)30 Oct 2020
Top UN official strongly condemns "barbaric attack" in French church

A top UN official has strongly condemned the "barbaric attack" in a French church on Thursday, stressing that such heinous acts targeting civilians, including worshippers, are intolerable and "utterly unjustifiable".

High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Miguel Moratinos "strongly condemns the barbaric attack" that killed three people -- two women and a man -- at the Notre-Dame Basilica in the city of Nice on the southeast coast of France.

Moratinos "stresses that such heinous attacks targeting civilians, including worshippers, are intolerable and utterly unjustifiable whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed," a statement issued by the spokesperson for the High Representative said.

00:05 (IST)30 Oct 2020
Account of former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad must be immediately suspended: France

I just spoke with the Managing Director of Twitter France. The account of former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad must be immediately suspended. If not, Twitter would be an accomplice to a formal call for murder: Cédric O, Secretary of State for Digital Sector of France

21:10 (IST)29 Oct 2020
France to more than double number of soldiers deployed to protect against attacks to 7,000.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he would immediately increase the number of soldiers deployed to protect schools and religious sites from around 3,000 currently to 7,000. French churches have been ferociously attacked by extremists in recent years, and Thursday’s killings come ahead of the Roman Catholic All Saints’ holiday. 

19:40 (IST)29 Oct 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemns Nice church killings
19:17 (IST)29 Oct 2020
Forensic police officers inspect the scene of a knife attack

(Source: AP)

19:06 (IST)29 Oct 2020
Soldiers patrol near Notre Dame church in Nice, southern France

19:05 (IST)29 Oct 2020
Muslims have right to be angry and kill millions of French people for past massacres: Former Malaysian PM

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad took to Twitter to state that 'Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past'. Mohamad tweeted a thread of tweets in which he supported the killings of French people.

18:48 (IST)29 Oct 2020
'Hatred has no place in our societies': NATO chief condemns attack in France's Nice

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) chief Jens Stoltenberg condemned knife attack in France's Nice Thursday.  "I condemn the horrific attack in Nice. My deepest condolences to their loved ones and the French people. Hatred has no place in our societies and NATO stands with our Ally France," Stoltenberg said. 

NATO - Opinion: Joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens  Stoltenberg and President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron in Paris,  19-Dec.-2017

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18:45 (IST)29 Oct 2020
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel condemns attack
18:29 (IST)29 Oct 2020
Prayers with French people, should respond evil with good: Pope Francis

Expressing mourning for the victims of the attack, Pope Francis tweeted in support of the French people. "I am close to the Catholic community of #Nice, mourning the attack that sowed death in a place of prayer and consolation. I pray for the victims, for their families and for the beloved French people, that they may respond to evil with good," he said. 

18:05 (IST)29 Oct 2020
French prime minister raises attack alert to 'emergency' after church killings in Nice

France's prime minister Jean Castex says the country's threat level will be raised to its maximum after an attack near a church killed three people Thursday in Nice.

The move comes just hours before the country was going into its second coronavirus lockdown.

An attacker armed with a knife killed three people at a church Thursday in the Mediterranean city of Nice, French authorities said.

It was the third attack in two months in France amid a growing furor over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that were re-published by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Other confrontations and attacks were reported Thursday in the southern city of Avignon and in the Saudi city of Jiddah, but it was not immediately clear if they were linked to the attack in Nice. Sounds of explosions could be heard as sappers exploded suspicious objects. (AP)

17:52 (IST)29 Oct 2020
British PM Boris Johnson expresses solidarity with France

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to Twitter to express his country's solidarity with the French people. "I am appalled to hear the news from Nice this morning of a barbaric attack at the Notre-Dame Basilica. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and the UK stands steadfastly with France against terror and intolerance," stated Johnson. 

17:27 (IST)29 Oct 2020
WATCH: Knife attack in French city Nice leaves three dead, several hurt

17:14 (IST)29 Oct 2020
French President Emmanuel Macron to visit Nice

French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Nice  after participating in a crisis meeting at the Interior Ministry, the Elysee Palace has said. The country's Prime Minister Jean Castex led lawmakers in a moment of silence at the National Assembly on Thursday morning  news of the incident broke.

17:11 (IST)29 Oct 2020
Suspected knife attacker was shot at by police while being detained, on way to hospital: French Mayor

Nice’s mayor, Christian Estrosi, who described the attack as terrorism, said on Twitter it had happened in or near Notre Dame church, the largest in the city. Estrosi said the attacker had repeatedly shouted the phrase “Allahu Akbar”, or God is greatest, even after he had been detained by police.

One of the people killed inside the church was believed to be the church warden, Estrosi said, adding that a woman had tried to escape from inside the church and had fled into a bar opposite the 19th century neo-Gothic building.

“The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to hospital, he is alive,” Estrosi told reporters ...Enough is enough... It’s time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory.”

16:53 (IST)29 Oct 2020
Saudi man arrested after injuring guard in attack at French consulate in Jeddah

A Saudi man was arrested in Jeddah after attacking a guard with a “sharp tool” at the French consulate on Thursday, Reuters quoted Saudi state TV as saying.

This development comes hours after a woman was beheaded by an attacker with a knife who also killed two other people at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, in an incident the city’s mayor described as terrorism. READ MORE

People step on a poster of French President Emmanuel Macron as they arrive to a rally marking the birthday of Prophet Muhammad in Sanaa, Yemen October 29, 2020. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Reuters journalists at the scene said police armed with automatic weapons had put up a security cordon around the church, which is on Nice’s Jean Medecin avenue, the city’s main shopping thoroughfare. Ambulances and fire service vehicles were also at the scene. It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the Nice attack, or if there was any connection to the cartoons.

Since Paty’s killing, French officials - backed by many ordinary citizens - have re-asserted the right to display the cartoons, and the images have been widely displayed at marches in solidarity with the killed teacher.

That has prompted an outpouring of anger in parts of the Muslim world, with some governments accusing French leader Emmanuel Macron of pursuing an anti-Islam agenda.

(Inputs from Reuters)


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First published on: 29-10-2020 at 02:55:41 pm
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