'Terror Attack': Three Dead, Several Injured in Nice, France
A man with a knife killed three people in a church in the southern French city of Nice on Thursday, in what President Emmanuel Macron called the latest Islamist terror attack to afflict the country.
Mr Macron said up to 7,000 soldiers would be deployed in the coming days to protect churches for All Saints Day, as well as other religious institutions and schools. The government announced the highest level of terror alert.
马克龙表示，未来几天将部署多达7000名军人，在诸圣节（All Saints Day，天主教节日，每年11月1日）期间保护教堂，并保护其他宗教机构和学校。政府宣布国家进入最高恐袭警戒级别。
“It’s France that has been attacked,” Mr Macron said in Nice. “Our country has been hit by an Islamist terror attack.” He called for national unity and said France was being targeted “for our values, for our taste for liberty. I say it clearly once again, today — we will not give any ground.”
The victims included the church’s sexton and two women parishioners. Officials said the attacker slashed their throats. Police quickly stopped the assailant, who was shot during the arrest and taken to hospital. According to French media, the attacker had an identity document in the name of a 21-year-old Tunisian, Brahim A, who had entered Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa as an illegal immigrant in September.
Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, said: “There is no doubt of the attacker’s intentions. He was saying ‘Allahu akbar’ ” at the church. Mr Estrosi added that the time had come to “definitively annihilate Islamo-fascism . . . Enough is enough”.
The Nice killing follows a series of incidents over the past decade linked to the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Earlier this month a Chechen refugee beheaded teacher Samuel Paty in the street outside his school, saying he was taking revenge for Paty’s showing of two of the caricatures to pupils in a lesson about freedom of speech.
Mr Macron’s condemnation of Islamist extremism in France, including the homage he paid to Paty at a ceremony in Paris, and his defence of secularism and free speech have triggered angry condemnations from some Muslim leaders, led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.
In 2016 Nice was targeted in a massive terror attack in which 84 people died when a truck was driven into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day.
The attack comes as France is about to begin its second lockdown to curb the coronarivus, and is the third knife attack carried out by Islamist extremists in the past month.
France was already on edge after the beheading of Paty, who had been criticized by Muslim parents and Islamists on social media before he was killed. France has the largest Muslim population — estimated at about 5m — among western European countries.
In Paris, the National Assembly held a minute’s silence for the victims of Thursday’s attack. Across the country, churches rang their bells in unison to commemorate the victims.