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Again Beheading in France; Three Horribly Died in Nice Knife Attack at a Church

An armed man killed three people in a knife attack in the French city of Nice, police say.

Two women and a man were killed in a terrorist attack at a church in Nice on the Côte d’Azur.

The killings happened at 9am on Thursday inside the Notre-Dame Basilica in the city centre.

Two of those who died were attacked inside the church, the elderly woman and a man who was found with his throat cut, reports said. One elderly victim who had come to pray was "virtually beheaded". The suspect was detained shortly after the attack. A woman who had managed to flee to a nearby cafe was stabbed several times and died later.

 The assailant, who was injured while being arrested, has been taken to a nearby hospital, a police official said. He was believed to have been acting alone, the official, who wasn't authorized to be publicly named, continued.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said there had been a "terrorist attack at the heart of the Notre-Dame basilica".

Mr Estrosi spoke of "Islamo-fascism" and that the suspect had "repeated endlessly 'Allahu Akbar' (God is greatest)."

France's national anti-terror prosecutors have opened a murder inquiry.

It later emerged that a witness had managed to raise the alarm with a special protection system set up by the city.

France's interior minister appealed to people to avoid the area in the centre of the French Riviera city. Gérald Darmanin said he was convening a crisis meeting at the ministry in Paris. President Emmanuel Macron will visit the scene later on Thursday.

"Without question this is a very serious new challenge that is striking our country," he said, appealing for unity and cohesion.

The French Council of the Muslim Faith condemned the Nice knife attack and spoke of its solidarity with the victims and their families.

Thursday's attack has echoes of another attack earlier this month near a school north-west of Paris. Samuel Paty, who was a teacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, was beheaded days after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to some of his pupils.

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