France’s national anti-terrorist prosecutor announced it was opening an investigation for “assassination” and “attempted assassination,” and French President Emmanuel Macron was heading to the scene, the Élysée Palace confirmed.
The attack occurred near the Basilica of Notre-Dame de L’Assomption shortly after 9 a.m. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said that three people were confirmed dead, and that the attacker repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbhar,” or “God is greatest” in Arabic.
According to Estrosi and to French media reports citing police sources, one of the three victims, a woman, had her throat slashed inside the church. The second victim, a man, was stabbed to death. The third known victim, another woman, was killed in a bar in front of the basilica where she had hidden…
The attack comes less than two weeks after a gruesome beheading of a middle school teacher in the Paris suburbs who had shown his students caricatures of the prophet Muhammad. Estrosi told France’s BFM television that the throat slashing in the basilica bore a clear resemblance to to the beheading of Samuel Paty, the slain teacher.