Attack in Nice, France.

man holding black assault rifle standing on street

At least three people were killed in the French coastal city of Nice during a knife attack that the local mayor described as a “terrorist” incident. The attack took place Thursday morning, 29 October, in the Notre-Dame Basilica (not to be confused with Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris). The victims include an elderly woman who had her throat slit. Nice’s mayor, Christian Estrosi, described the woman as having been “virtually beheaded.” Mr Estrosi referred to “Islamo-fascism” and stated that the suspect had “repeated endlessly ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest)”. The incident comes in the wake of unrest following the Samuel Paty beheading. The history teacher was selected for murder after he included depictions of the prophet Muhammed in a lecture on freedom of speech. The incident has sparked days of protests in Muslim-majority countries after the French President Macron defended Paty’s actions. Four years ago, on 14 July, Nice was the scene of another terror attack that killed 86 people, when a Tunisian drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day. What is referred to as the French Muslim “problem,” is frequently the subject of heated debates and over-simplifications, which obfuscate (often intentionally) rather than enlighten. The events surrounding Charlie Hebdo, Jacques Hamel, Samuel Paty and now again Nice undoubtedly contribute to these discussions and at times questionable policy decisions.

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