A man wielding a knife outside a church in the southern French city of Nice killed two and injured several others in an attack on Thursday morning, officials said.
The suspected assailant was detained shortly afterward, a police source said, while interior minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter that he had called a crisis meeting after the attack.
Officials were reportedly treating the incident as a possible terror attack.
The mayor of Nice tweeted photos from the scene, saying he was present with police.
Je suis sur place avec la @PoliceNat06 et la @pmdenice qui a interpellé l’auteur de l’attaque. Je confirme que tout laisse supposer à un attentat terroriste au sein de la basilique Notre-Dame de #Nice06. pic.twitter.com/VmpDqRwzB1
— Christian Estrosi (@cestrosi) October 29, 2020
The attack occurred with France on high alert amid sky-high tensions with Muslims around the world who have protested French President Emmanuel Macron’s defense of drawings of the Prophet Muhammad and his crackdown on radical Islam.
Last week, French history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by an Islamist radical angry over him displaying a drawing of the Muslim prophet in a class on free speech.
Macron’s proposal to defend his country’s secular values against radical Islam has angered the Muslims all over the world, notably Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan.