Paris: A knife-wielding attacker beheaded a woman and killed two others in a suspected terrorist attack at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, the police was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The gruesome beheading reportedly took place inside Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice.
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 and that police had detained the attacker. Estrosi said the attacker had shouted the phrase “Allahu Akbar”, or God is greatest. One of the people killed inside the church was believed to be the church warden, Estrosi said.
The attacker kept shouting “Allahu Akbar” even after he had been detained, Estrosi said. “The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to the hospital, he is alive,” Estrosi told reporters.
“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 accused was believed to be acting alone, a police official told Associated Press. The reason for the attack is unclear, she said.
The police were also quick to reach the spot. The attacker was caught and taken to hospital. Nice’s mayor said the man kept shouting Allahu Akbar even as he was arrested after a brief struggle. He is said to be injured.
There was no word on the identity of the attacker but he is said to be of South Asian or Arab origin.