Hundreds have gathered to mourn the death of the three victims killed in yesterday’s attack only a few hours before the new COVID-19 lockdown was imposed.
Yesterday morning (29 October 2020) a deadly knife attack took place at one of Nice’s churches, Notre-Dame de Nice, a Roman Catholic Basilica, which resulted in the death of three people – of which two were stabbed and one had their throat slit. Two of the victims, a 60-year old woman and a 55-year old man, died on the spot while the third victim, a 44-year old woman, managed to escape the church but died soon after due to her fatal injuries.
Caroline Adam was at the scene twelve hours earlier, witnessing the panic outside the Notre-Dame de Nice.
“I was here this morning, I heard screams. I’m very shocked by it all. As a Nicoise, I’m very shocked. I heard screams and the police told us to run away quickly. I said this isn’t normal. I thought it was a bomb. I keep thinking of those three people, it’s horrible, horrible.”
The attack, which police describes as a “vision of horror”, is currently still under investigation but the persecutors in France and Tunisia believe it to be a terrorist attack. In a short response, the French President Emmanuel Macron has strongly insisted that the country “will never give in” to what he called “Islamist terrorist attacks” and called for firmness and unity.
In regards to foreign reactions, the President of European Parliament, the Spanish Prime Minister, and the Italian Prime Minister amongst many others all released statements expressing their condolences to the country. In addition to that both Saudi Arabia and Turkey condemned the attack.
Who is the suspect and what do we know?
The whole attack took just under 30 minutes and 4 of the police officers that arrived at the scene fired multiple shots before catching the attacker. He was found with two cell phones, three knives (of which one was used in the attack) and a Quran. The suspect was heavily injured and transferred to the hospital. The alleged attacker is a 21-year-old Tunisian man, Brahim Aouissaouii. He migrated to France after his arrival in Italy in late September 2020. Prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said that the suspect had not been on any intelligence agency’s radar as a potential terrorist threat. In addition to this, a 47-year old man who is believed to have been cooperating with the attacker has been arrested as well.
For more information and a video of the French President on the situation check out the links below:
Image Credit: M.Strīķis, Wikimedia