Rabat – French media reported three deaths and several injuries in a knife attack in Nice, southern France, on October 29.
Among the dead is a woman whom the suspect beheaded.
French police believe the attacker acted alone.
Police arrested the suspect and transferred him to the hospital after he sustained an injury during the arrest.
The motive behind the attack is still unclear, but the BBC quoted Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi as saying that “everything pointed to a terrorist attack” at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin called on all people to stay away from the scene.
The attack comes in an alarming context in France, which is witnessing a crisis in the aftermath of the murder of middle school teacher Samuel Paty on October 16.
An 18-year-old student attacked the teacher and beheaded him for displaying Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a class on freedom of expression.
The murder angered Muslims and people of all religions alike. The French government’s polarizing rhetoric after the murder, however, angered Muslims.
President Emmanuel Macron said Islamists “want our future” and maintained that France will not give up its cartoons that Muslims consider insulting to Islam and the prophet.
The statements by Macron pushed millions of Muslims to boycott French products.
The French government responded to the boycott, calling on Arab and Muslim countries to end the campaign.
The French government also described the campaign as an attack from a “radical minority.”
Several countries condemned France for using the Charlie Hebdo caricatures in the name of freedom of expression.
Morocco said the offenses against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad reflect “a lack of maturity.”
Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan called on Macron to have “mental checks,” while Pakistan’s prime minister questioned how a leader who is supposed to spread coexistence between religions could promote hatred through his controversial remarks.