Three people have been killed in a knife attack at a church in the French city of Nice, police have confirmed.
Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said there had been a “terrorist attack at the heart of the Notre-Dame basilica”.
The BBC reports that an elderly victim who had come to pray was “virtually beheaded”. A suspect was shot and detained shortly afterwards.
Mr Estrosi spoke of “Islamo-fascism” and said the suspect had “repeated endlessly ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest)”.
President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Nice and is meeting police officers at the scene of Thursday’s attack.
Anti-terror prosecutors have opened a murder inquiry and France raised its national security alert system to its highest level.
Mr Estrosi compared the attack to the recent murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded close to his school outside Paris earlier this month.
The dastardly attack follows days of protests in some Muslim-majority countries triggered by President Macron’s pledge to crackdown on Islamist terrorism.