Further details about the knife attack in Nice become known. Here is a summary of what we know right now.
At least three people were killed in a knife attack in the Notre Dame Basilica, the city’s main church, in Nice, southern France.
Videos posted on social media showed police and military officers responding to the incident and erecting a cordon in the city center.
One of the victims had cut his throat, a police source told CNN. The mayor of Nice had previously described it as a decapitation.
Another victim – a man – died after several knife wounds, according to the police.
The third victim, a woman, was wounded in church but was able to walk. However, she died in a nearby cafe, the source told police.
Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said the attacker was shot dead by police but was still alive and in custody.
Estrosi said “everything indicates” that the incident was a terrorist attack, and France’s anti-terrorist prosecutor has taken over the investigation.
He added that the suspect repeated the words “Allahu Akbar before us” over and over while being treated by medical professionals. “There is no doubt that the perpetrator of the attack … what his intentions were,” said the mayor.
French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Nice later Thursday and Prime Minister Jean Castex has promised a “firm” response. The country’s terror alert level was raised to “emergency” after the incident.
The “emergency” level means that, according to a website of the French government, “maximum vigilance” is required in the event of an impending threat or immediately after an attack.
International leaders have pledged to show solidarity with France, including those from Spain, Italy, Turkey, the UK and the European Parliament who condemn the violence. The French Council for the Muslim Faith has also condemned the incident.
The incident, the latest in a series of attacks on France in recent years, occurred less than two weeks after the decapitation of the teacher Samuel Paty in Paris. Paty was targeted after using cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad during a lesson.
Nice has been the target of terror in the past. Dozens died in 2016 after an ISIS-inspired attacker plowed a 20-ton truck into the Bastille Day crowd.