A knife-wielding jihadi beheaded a woman and murdered two others at a church this morning in southern France.

“A man wielding a knife at a church in the French city of Nice killed three people, slitting the throat of at least one, and injured several others before being apprehended by police,” French news agency AFP tweeted, citing officials.

The  “Allahu Akbar”-shouting attacker decapitated a 70-year-old woman and stabbed the church sexton to death. Another woman, who was stabbed inside the church, managed to seek refuge in a nearby bar where she later died from her wounds, initial media reports said.

The city’s Mayor Christian Estrosi described the heinous incident as an “Islamo-fascist attack.” The attacker kept chanting “Allahu Akbar” after his arrest and left “no doubt… about the meaning of his action,” the mayor added. The man was shot by the police at the scene and is currently in custody.

TV channel France24 reported the deadly attack:

A knife-wielding attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar” beheaded a woman and killed two other people at a church in the southern French city of Nice on Thursday, according to police officials. The city’s mayor described the incident as an act of terrorism.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said on Twitter the knife attack had happened at the city’s Notre Dame church and that police had detained the attacker.

The attacker had shouted, “Allahu Akbar”, or God is greatest even after he had been detained, Estrosi said.

A police source said three people were confirmed to have died, including a woman who was decapitated in the attack. One of the people killed inside the church was believed to be the church warden, Estrosi said.

The French interior ministry said on Twitter that security and rescue forces were at the site and urged residents to avoid the area.

The assailant was arrested after the attack and taken to a nearby hospital after sustaining injuries, a police offic[i] al said. He was believed to be acting alone, the official said.

The city of Nice has witnessed several Islamic terror attacks in recent years. A Tunisian-Muslim immigrant drove a cargo truck into a large crowd celebrating the 2016 Bastille Day, a French national holiday, killing 86 people, including 10 children.

Islamic attacks on Christian places of worship in France have surged. In July 2016, two terrorists belonging to the Islamic State beheaded an 84-year-old Catholic priest, Jacques Hamel, in front of the altar during a mass in Rouen, located in northern France.

The French Catholic Church responded to the attack saying that “Christians must not become symbols to be slaughtered.”

The attack took place amid an atmosphere of growing hatred and incitement against France in the Muslim world. Demonstrators in Muslim countries have been staging angry protests over the recent clampdown on Islamist organizations by French authorities following a teacher’s beheading. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused French President Emmanuel Macron of “Islamophobia” for comments following the beheading in Paris. Erdogan was joined in condemnation by Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, and other Muslim leaders.

Terrorist attacks follow Islamist anger. In the French city of Avignon, police took out an Islamic terrorist on Thursday after he tried to attack passers-by while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” Another attacker was arrested on the same day for stabbing a guard at the French consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia.


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