A police vehicle will be parked in the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption basilica in Nice on Thursday October 29th. Valery Hache / AFP / Getty Images
Further details of the Nice attack emerged. Here’s what we know right now:
At least three people were killed in a knife attack in the Notre Dame Basilica, the city’s main church, in Nice, southern France.
Videos posted on social media showed police and military officers responding to the incident and erecting a cordon in the city center.
One of the victims had cut his throat, a police source told CNN. The mayor of Nice had previously described it as a decapitation. Another victim – a man – died after several knife wounds, according to the police. The third victim, a woman, was wounded in church but was able to walk. However, she died in a nearby cafe, the source told police.
The French national police named the suspect in the attack Brahim Aouissaoui, born in 1999. A source from the Italian Interior Ministry told CNN that Aouissaoui had first arrived in Europe on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.
Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said the attacker was shot dead by police but was still alive and in custody.
Estrosi said “everything indicates” that the incident was a terrorist attack, and France’s anti-terrorist prosecutor has taken over the investigation.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the country would not give in to terrorism after being attacked again by what he termed “Islamist and terrorist madness,” he said after visiting the site of a deadly attack. Emergency “after the incident.
International leaders have pledged solidarity with France, including the leaders of Spain, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the European Parliament who condemn the violence. The Vatican said Pope Francis prayed for the victims. “Terrorism and violence can never be accepted,” it said in a statement.
The French Council for the Muslim Faith has also condemned the incident. as did the French bishops’ council, which said Catholics across France “refused to give in to fear” after the attack.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt’s highest religious authority Al-Azhar have condemned the fatal knife attack in France on Thursday.
The Turkish government’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, also condemned the attack but criticized the French leadership, saying they should avoid inflammatory rhetoric against Muslims. Tensions between the two countries were high, with Turkey particularly criticizing the treatment of Muslims in France.
The incident, the latest in a series of attacks on France in recent years, occurred less than two weeks after the decapitation of the teacher Samuel Paty in Paris. Paty was targeted after using cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad during a lesson.
Nice has been the target of terror in the past. Dozens died in 2016 after an ISIS-inspired attacker plowed a 20-ton truck into the Bastille Day crowd.