Terror strikes France
Woman beheaded, 2 others killed in attack on Church in city of Nice
NICE: A knife-wielding attacker shouting 'Allahu Akbar' beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a suspected terrorist incident at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, police said.
France Prime Minister Jean Castex said the country's threat level will be raised to its maximum after the attack that killed three people.
Nice's Mayor Christian Estrosi, who described the attack as terrorism, said on Twitter it had happened in or near the city's Notre Dame church. Estrosi said the attacker had repeatedly shouted the phrase 'Allahu Akbar', or God is greatest, even after he had been detained by the police.
"The suspected knife attacker was shot by the police while being detained, he is on his way to hospital, he is alive," Estrosi told reporters.
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 building.
"Enough is enough," Estrosi said. "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."
The 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.
French President Emmanuel Macron is due to visit Nice, Estrosi said. In Paris, lawmakers in the National Assembly observed a minute's silence in solidarity with the victims.