Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Everything about France Bloody attacks today

Thursday 29/October/2020 - 05:58 PM
The Reference

Several explosions heard in central Nice

Several explosions have been heard in central Nice near the Notre-Dame basilica where the attack took place.

The assailant has been arrested and is in a critical condition at the Pasteur hospital in Nice, according to French media.

MPs in France’s National Assembly observed a minute’s silence in “solidarity for the victim or victims”.

French police chief gives statement

 The attack comes days after France’s police chief, Frédéric Veaux,  announced that he was bolstering security around churches, mosques and other religious sites “notably on the occasion of Christian religious celebrations around All Saints”.

“France is the target of a high terror threat,” he said, noting that on October 25, a news agency close to al Qaeda “reiterated” the terror group’s call to attack France.

He said police there was a risk of attack by “knives” and vehicles.

Death toll rises to three

French police have confirmed a third person is dead following the attack.

Gunshots reported inside the church

There are reports of gunshots inside the church. Residents inside the security cordon have been ordered to remain indoors. Armed police are at the scene along with emergency services.

French anti-terror police investigating

The prosecutor in France's anti-terror department has said the department has been asked to investigate the incident.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said: "Everything suggests that this is a terror attack."

Nice mayor speaks of 'Islamofacism'

In a statement to reporters, the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi spoke of "Islamofacism" in relation to the attack.

The "Islamo-fascist" assailant "didn't stop shouting Allahu Akhbar even under medication" after being shot and arrested, said Mr Estrosi, leaving "no doubt that this was a terror attack".

"As I speak there are without doubt two victims killed in the same manner as Samuel Paty," the teacher decapitated by a Chechen extremist outside a secondary school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb of Paris, after showing pupils caricatures of the Prophet Mohamed during a class on freedom of expression.

Enough is enough. It is time now that France rid itself of the rules of peace to annihilate the scourge of Islamo-fascism," said Mr Estrosi.

An attack with precedent

This is not the first time a French church has been the target of a terror attack. On 26 July 2016, two Islamists attacked a congregation at a Mass at a Catholic church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, northern France.

Wielding knives and wearing fake explosive belts, the men took six people captive and later killed one of them, 85-year-old priest Jacques Hamel, by slitting his throat.

The attackers, 19-year-olds Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean, had pledged allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which claimed responsibility for the attack.

Macron heading to Nice

President Emmanuel macron is currently travelling to Nice in response to the incident

A second dark day for Nice

Nice has already paid a high price from terrorism.

On Bastille Day in 2016, some 86 people died when a truck plowed into a crowd along Nice's popular beach-side Promenade des Anglais where revellers had gathered to watch fireworks. Police shot and killed the perpetrator, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Police believe attacker a 'lone wolf'

A police source has told French media that the authorities believe the attacker was acting alone. An official has said they are not currently searching for other assailants.

French parliament observe moment of silence

Members of the French parliament temporarily suspended a debate on the new national lockdown to observe a moment's silence in remembrance of those killed during the attack.

Victims stabbed inside church

French media are reporting that two women and a man were stabbed inside the church.

France's Muslim Council condemns attack

France's Council for the Muslim Faith, CNFM, said it "forcefully condemns the terrorist attack that took place at the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice."

"As a sign of mourning and solidarity for the victims and their families, I call on all Muslims of France to cancel all festivities for Mawlid (celebrating the birth of the Prophet Mohammed)", taking place on Thursday, said CNFM president Mohammed Moussaoui in a Tweet.

Russia reacts to attack

The Kremlin has released a statement on the incident in Nice.

The Russians say it is "unacceptable to insult religious believers' feelings" and it is also "unacceptable to kill people".

More details released on victims and attacker

According to police sources, among the victims is a 70-year old woman who was "partially beheaded" inside the church.

A man stabbed to death inside the building was the church sexton.

The third victim, a woman aged around 40, was stabbed in the church but managed to escape to a nearby bar where she died shortly afterwards from her wounds.

Police said the assailant remained conscious after being shot and claimed responsibility for his act, was called Brahim and had "acted alone". Police took his fingerprints to check whether he is on a security or terror watchlist.

French Catholic Church condemn 'unspeakable' attack

France's Catholic Church condemned what it called "an unspeakable attack" and warned: "Christians must not become symbols to be slaughtered."

Italian PM condemns attack

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has condemned the "vile attack" this morning.

"The vile attack... will not shake the common front defending the values of freedom and peace," Mr Conte posted on Twitter.

"Our convictions are stronger than fanaticism, hatred and terror."

Saudi arrested in Jeddah for stabbing guard at French consulate

Elsewhere, a Saudi citizen has been arrested in Jeddah for stabbing a security guard outside the French consulate with "a sharp tool", according to reports from Reuters.

Suspect with knife shot after attacking police in Avignon

A further suspected attack has occurred in Avignon, France.

A suspect with a knife reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar" has been fatally shot during an attack on police officers in the southeastern French city.

Avignon suspect 'threatened public'

Police in Avignon confirm they have shot one person dead after they "threatened passers by with a weapon".

Police have since released a statement saying the suspect was using a "handgun" to threaten the public.

Life of guard at French consulate 'not in danger'

The French embassy have released a statement saying the guard in the Jeddah consulate attack has been hospitalised but his "life [is] not in danger".

"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 embassy said in a statement.

Nice mayor to close all of town's churches

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said all churches would shut in the town and called for those around the country to be given added security or to be closed as a precaution.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal has said his country "will never renounce its principles and values" in regard to media freedom and fight against Islamic extremism.

Attacker a '21-year-old Tunisian migrant'

According to sources on the ground, the attacker has been identified as a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant.

According to BFMTV, the assailant told police that he is Tunisian, was born in 1999, and only arrived in France from the Italian island of Lampedusa in October.

He is reportedly uknown to French security services.

The attackers name has so far not yet been revealed, although police sources earlier identified him simply as 'Brahim'.

Avignon suspect was 'far-right' member

According to Le Monde, the armed man police shot dead in Avignon had threatened a shopkeeper of North African origin, claiming he was a member of "Generation Identitaire", a far-Right group.

Two arrests made in Lyon

According to Le Monde, one, an Afghan, was armed with a 30cm knife and wearing a tactical vest and is known to French intelligence services. He was arrested in a road near the Perrache train station.

The second individual was seized after shouting that he was going to attack someone. According to Le Monde, this individual was "clearly mentally unstable".

Valdimir Putin offers condolences

Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended his well-wishes to France via a telegram.

Mr Putin called the attack "a cynical and a cruel crime inside a church" and said that "the notions of human morals are absolutely alien to terrorists."

Macron delivers defiant address in Nice

President Emmanuel Macron has delivered a defiant message to the French people, saying the attacks would not force France to "give up our values".

He also said that he would be stepping up the deployment of soldiers to protect key French sites, such as places of worship and schools. He would be raising the number of troops deployed to 7,000, up from 3,000 currently on patrol.

"If we are attacked, it is because of our values, our values of freedom and our desire not to yield to terror," he said.

More details released on Lyon arrest

The suspect, an Afghan national in his 20s who was dressed in traditional Afghan clothes, had already been flagged to French intelligence services, according to a police source.

"He was carrying a 30-centimetre (12-inch) knife and seemed ready to take action," Pierre Oliver, the mayor of Lyon's Second Arrondissement, told AFP.

He is currently being questioned and will probably have a psychological exam, the source said.

The arrest took place near the Perrache train station in the historic heart of the city, not far from where a parcel bomb wounded 14 on a busy pedestrian street in May 2019.

Man with knife arrested outside church in Sartrouville

A man with knife arrested outside church in Sartrouville, France reportedly claimed he wanted to carry out attack similar to earlier one in Nice, according to French media reports