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France 'under attack', says Macron

By Julian Shea in London | | Updated: 2020-10-29 19:49
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Military presence to be stepped up following killings in Nice

French President Emmanuel Macron has said the country is "under attack" from Islamists following an incident at a church in the city of Nice on Thursday morning that left three people dead.

Police overpowered a man carrying a knife, who the local mayor said had been shouting "Allahu Akbar'" (God is greatest) before he was detained.

"If we are attacked it is because of our values, our values of freedom and our desire not to yield to terror," said Macron, as he announced that the number of troops being deployed to protect against attacks would be increased from 3000 to 7000.

It is understood the victims of the Nice attack were the church sexton and an elderly woman, who both died at the scene, and another woman who managed to get away but died nearby from her injuries. None of them has yet been named.

This latest incident comes just weeks after another one, in Paris, where a teacher was beheaded after having shown his pupils cartoons of the prophet Mohammed which are regarded as deeply offensive by many Muslims.

These are in turn linked to another deadly attack, on the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015. Several people accused of helping those involved in this attack are currently on trial in France.

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