A man wielding a knife outside a church in the southern French city of Nice killed three people, including one whose throat was slit. He injured several others before police apprehended him, officials said on Thursday.
The suspected assailant was detained shortly afterward the attack by security forces around 9 am, a police representative.
“The situation is now under control,” said police spokeswoman Florence Gavello.
Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said on Twitter, “I can confirm everything lets us think this was a terror attack in the Notre-Dame Basilica,” in central Nice.
France has been on high alert for terror attacks since the January 15 massacre at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and the trial of suspected accomplices in that attack is currently underway in Paris.
The assault prompted lawmakers in parliament to hold a minute of silence, before Prime Minister Jean Castex and other ministers abruptly left for an emergency meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.
France’s national anti-terror prosecutors said Thursday they have opened a murder inquiry after a man killed three people at a basilica in central Nice and wounded several others.
The city’s mayor, Christian Estrosi, told journalists at the scene that the assailant, detained shortly afterward by police, “kept repeating ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Greater) even while under medication.”
He added that President Emmanuel Macron would be arriving shortly in Nice