France has gone through series of terror attacks that happened within hours of each other. These attacks cost the lives of three people according to the DailyMail report.
Two of the victims of this terror attack were beheaded – in an attack in Nice before a gunman was shot dead by police in Avignon.
The DailyMail reported that the first attack began around 9 am at the Notre Dame cathedral in Nice where a knife man beheaded an elderly female parishioner and a male churchwarden, fatally stabbed a second woman, wounded several others, and was then shot and arrested by police.
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Again, two hours later, about 120 miles from Nice, a gunman threatened people on the streets of Avignon, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ before he was fatally shot by police.
In yet another one, a security guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was stabbed and wounded.
All these attacks are coming after President Emmanuel Macron has vigorously defended the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed on free speech grounds, which costs a school teacher his life.
The school teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded north of Paris after cartoons of the Prophet to his class in a lesson on free speech.
The defence of President Macron on the teachers depiction has brought disaffection in the life of Muslims across the world and has sparked the campaigns to boycott French products.
In the Nice attack, the elderly female victim was attacked after coming there early to pray and was found ‘almost beheaded’ close to the church font. A churchwarden was then attacked and also beheaded.
A third woman was stabbed ‘multiple times’ and managed to flee to a bar across the street, where she died. A local called police, who arrived at 9.10 am and stormed the cathedral, shooting and arresting the attacker.
After he was arrested, the attacker, in his 20s gave his name as Brahim, Le Figaro reported. His identity is being checked by police.
Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said the attacker ‘kept shouting Allahu Akbar even after being medicated’, and that ‘the meaning of his gesture is not in doubt’.
‘Enough is enough,’ he 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.’
Estrosi said the victims had been killed in a ‘horrible way’. ‘The methods match, without doubt, those used against the brave teacher in Conflans Sainte Honorine, Samuel Paty,’ he said.
He also called for churches around France to be given extra protection or closed as a precaution.
In another french city, Avignon, the man was armed with a handgun and began threatening people in the Montfavet around 11.15 am, immediately, the police were alerted and they rushed to the scene. As the man threatened the officers, they opened fire and killed him, France1 reported.
The Nice attack happened less than half a mile from where another attacker plowed a truck into a Bastille Day crowd in 2016, killing dozens.
Police confirmed that the anti-terror prosecutor has been charged with carrying out the investigation on charges of murder and attempted murder.
Emmanuel Macron led an emergency cabinet meeting on the attack, before leaving for Nice, where he is expected to arrive shortly.
French politicians were taking part in a debate on the country’s new coronavirus restrictions when news of the attack reached them.
They observed a minute of silence before the debate broke up so an emergency security meeting could be held.
Images on French media showed the neighborhood locked down and surrounded by police and emergency vehicles. Sounds of explosions could be heard as sappers exploded suspicious objects.
The Catholic Church issued a statement, condemning the ‘unspeakable act’ and saying that ‘Christians must not become a symbol to be cut down.’
The French Council of Muslim Worship also issued a statement strongly condemning the attack.
‘As a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their relatives, I call on the Muslims of France to cancel all the festivities of the Mawlid feast,’ which takes place on October 28 and 29.
The attack is just the latest to strike France after history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in another attack north of Paris.
Paty was stabbed by an 18-year-old Chechen after he showed the cartoons to his students during a lesson on free speech.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also spoke out to condemn the attack, tweeting: ‘I am appalled to hear the news from Nice this morning of a barbaric attack at the Notre-Dame Basilica.
‘Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and the UK stands steadfastly with France against terror and intolerance.’
It also comes amid mass protests in many Islamic countries against Emmanuel Macron, after the French President spoke up in defense of the cartoons.
Tweeting in Arabic, he wrote: ‘Nothing makes us hold back, ever. We respect all differences in the spirit of peace. We never accept hate speech and defend rational debate.
‘We will always stand by human dignity and universal values.’
His remarks have prompted demonstrations in Gaza, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and boycotts of French products in Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Palestinian territories.
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