French Interior Minister warns “war against Islamist ideology” means more attacks in France

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More attacks on French soil are likely as France is engaged in a “war against Islamist ideology”, its interior minister said on Friday.

A knife-wielding Tunisian man shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday before being shot and taken away by police.

“We are in a war against an enemy that is both inside and outside,” Gerald Darmanin told RTL radio.

“We need to understand that there have been and there will be other events such as these terrible attacks.” 

A police officer is seen at the scene of the knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice, France, 29 October 2020. EPA-EFE/ERIC GAILLARD / POOL

 Man in custody over alleged links to Nice knife attacker

A 47-year-old man has been taken into custody on suspicion of having been in contact with the perpetrator of Thursday’s deadly knife attack in Nice, a judicial source said.

On Thursday, a knife-wielding attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a church in the French city before being shot by police and taken away.

The source said the 47-year-old suspected of having been in contact with the attacker had been detained late on Thursday evening, confirming an earlier report on BFM TV.

France’s chief anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said the man suspected of carrying out the attack was a Tunisian, born in 1999, who had arrived in Europe on Sept. 20 in Lampedusa, the Italian island off Tunisia that is a major landing point for migrants from Africa.

A Tunisian security source and a French police source named the suspected attacker as Brahim Aouissaoui.

Ricard said the suspected attacker had entered the city by train early on Thursday morning. 

Vatican condemns Nice church attack, says terror never acceptable

The Vatican on Thursday condemned the attack that left three people dead at a church in Nice, France, saying terrorism and violence were never acceptable.

“Today’s attack sowed death in a place of love and consolation, the house of the Lord,” spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

“It is a moment of pain in a time of confusion. Terrorism and violence can never be accepted.” He said Pope Francis had been informed and was praying for the victims. The pope hoped the French people would “respond in a united way to evil with good.”

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