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New arrests after the French church attack, security strengthened



On Friday, a new suspect was detained to investigate the tragedy of a Tunisian man who killed three people in a French church when France stepped up its security alert amid religious and geopolitical tensions mocking Muslim prophets.

A judicial official said the suspect was a 47-year-old man who was believed to be in contact with the attacker the night before the attack on Notre Dame in Nice, Riviera. The official has no right to publicly appoint.

Authorities said the assailant Ibrahim Issaoui was seriously injured and was hospitalized in life-threatening conditions. Anti-terrorism prosecutors in France and Tunisia are investigating.

In an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya television station on Friday, Issavi’s mother said she was shocked by the incidents.

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This mother is from Sfax, Tunisia. Her eyes were wet with tears. She said that when her son arrived in France, he didn’t know what he planned. She was surprised to hear that his son was in France. “You don’t understand French, you don’t know anyone there, you want to live there alone, why, why do you want to go there?” She said she told him over the phone.

His brother told Al-Arabiya that Issaoui had notified his family that he would sleep in front of the church and sent them a photo showing him at the cathedral where the attack occurred. He said: “He didn’t tell me anything.” A neighbor said that when he was a mechanic and worked in various other odd jobs, he knew the attacker and showed no signs of aggressiveness.

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The French counter-terrorism prosecutor said that the suspect was a Tunisian born in 1999. He arrived on the island of Lampedusa in Italy on September 20. Lampedusa is important for immigrants crossing ships from North Africa. Landing point and heading to the port city of Bari in southern Italy on October 9. He does not know when he will arrive in Nice.

The attack was the third time that the French authorities blamed Muslim extremists in less than two months. It included showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in the class after republishing images in the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The beheading of a teacher.

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French President Emmanuel Macron stated that he will immediately increase the number of soldiers used to protect schools and religious sites from 3,000 to 7,000.


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