Two people were decapitated and another person has been killed in a suspected terror attack in Nice, France. The stabbing incident took place inside the Notre Dame basilica at around 9 am when the mass had just started, as per reports.
The police have probably shot the alleged perpetrator who shouted 'Allahu Akbar' while he got arrested and was taken to the hospital. At least one of the victims was beheaded, as per a police spokesperson. It was also confirmed one of the deceased was an employee of the church.
A person who described the event as 'very distressing' heard around seven shots fired. The witness on social media also confirmed hearing a number of shots while the police operation took place. The French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin stated that a police operation is underway and confirmed that he will chair a crisis meeting for the attack. The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi stated that the incident was probably due to terrorism.
"I am on site with the [police] who arrested the perpetrator of the attack. I confirm that everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice," he said. "Nice has paid too heavy a price in the same way as our country in recent years. I call for the unity of the NiÃ§ois," he tweeted.
The National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office of France has started an investigation into the attack. President Emanuel Macron called the mayor for offering support and stated that he will travel to the city. Pictures from the scene show the area around the church nearly empty.
The attack comes as France is still lamenting the beheading of a middle school teacher named Samuel Paty. The attacker killed Paty for showing cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson. The motive behind the Nice attack is not immediately clear.