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October 30, 2020

Woman's throat slit in France church

Top Story

 
October 30, 2020

NICE (France): A knife-wielding man killed three people at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, slitting the throat of at least one of them, in what officials are treating as the latest attack to rock the country. The assailant was shot at and wounded by police, Nice´s Mayor Christian Estrosi said. "He kept repeating “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greater) even while under medication" as he was brought to hospital, Estrosi told journalists. Police found the body of a woman whose throat had been cut in an apparent beheading attempt inside the Basilica of Notre-Dame, in the heart of the Mediterranean resort city, a source close to the inquiry said.

The body of a man was also found inside while a third person succumbed to his injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby bar.

Father Philippe Asso, who serves at the Notre-Dame’s basilica, said that no mass was underway at the time of the attack, but the church opens around 8am (0700 GMT) and “people come in to pray at all hours.” He said one victim was a church employee of about 45-year old. The apparent decapitation attempt comes just days after thousands rallied across France in solidarity with a teacher beheaded for having shown pupils blasphemous cartoons.

The latest attack, just days ahead of the Catholic holy day of All Saints Day, prompted Prime Minister Jean Castex to raise the terror alert level to maximum across the country. Police sources said the suspect gave his name as "Brahim" and his age as 25, but his identity had yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, A Saudi citizen injured a guard in a knife attack Thursday at the French consulate in Jeddah, officials said, as France faces growing anger over blasphemous cartoons.

“The assailant was apprehended by Saudi security forces immediately after the attack. The guard was taken to hospital and his life is not in danger,” the French embassy said. Police in Jeddah said the attacker was a Saudi, but it did not give the nationality of the guard, who they said had sustained minor injuries. The French embassy in Riyadh urged its nationals in Saudi Arabia to exercise “extreme vigilance”. Security around the Jeddah consulate later appeared to be tightened, with Saudi police cars seen patrolling around the complex at regular intervals. —AFP