PARIS-According to local officials, knife attackers killed at least two people in a church in the southern French city of Nice on Thursday morning in what appeared to be a terrorist attack.
The attack occurred when a young Muslim man in France beheaded a teacher on the outskirts of Paris this month, shocking the country because the teacher showed a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said in a statement on Twitter shortly after the attack that he was at the police scene and the suspect had been arrested. He later said that at least two people were killed and one was seriously injured.
Éric Ciotti, a parliamentarian representing Nice and other regions, told reporters in Paris that according to the information provided to him by the emergency services, “this looks like a terrorist attack.”
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said in a Twitter post that he immediately called a crisis meeting.
The attack took place at the Cathedral of the Assumption, and the local authorities did not immediately release detailed information about the victims or the circumstances. The police warned residents that because a “very serious” incident is happening and controlled explosives are being used, please stay away from the area around the church. They also urged residents to remain calm.
A video posted on social media showed that when the police evacuated the scene, rows of people rushed out of the area around the church.
In 2016, Nice was also one of the worst terrorist attacks in France. At that time, a man ploughed a 19-ton refrigerated truck into the crowd and gathered on the city’s main promenade to watch fireworks, killing 86 people.
Megan Specia (Megan Specia) Report from London.