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French police make second arrest in Nice attack

Screenshot 2020 10 29 at 085501 Notre-Dame de Nice, the site of an Oct. 29, 2020 terrorist attack. / LimeWave Photo (CC BY 2.0).

An unnamed French official told the New York Times on Friday that police have arrested a 47-year-old man in connection with a deadly terrorist attack inside Notre-Dame de Nice.

The attacker on Oct. 29 killed three people in the church, including a 44-year-old mother of three; a 60 year old woman who had come to the church to pray; and the church’s 55 year old sacristan.

The attacker used a knife to carry out the killings and reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he did so.

French police shot and arrested the perpetrator, who has been identified as Brahim Aouissaoui, 21. Aouissaoui reportedly arrived in Europe in late September, first at the Italian island Lampedusa before traveling to France.

The second man arrested is reportedly suspected of being in contact with the assailant, the New York Times reported Oct. 30.

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The French bishops asked churches across the country to toll their bells Thursday in memory the three people killed.

The attack in Nice follows the beheading of Samuel Paty, a Paris school teacher, in an Islamist terror attack earlier this month. The attacker in that incident reportedly was angered that Paty had shown cartoons of Muhammad during his classes.

Other attacks took place in France Oct. 29. In Montfavet, near Avignon, a man waving a handgun made threats and was killed by the police two hours after the Nice attack. Radio station Europe 1 said the man was also shouting “Allahu Akbar.”

Reuters also reported a knife attack on a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed Moussaoui, president of French Council of Muslim Faith, condemned the terrorist attack and asked French Muslims to cancel their festivities for Mawlid, the Oct. 29 celebration of Muhammad's birthday, “as a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their loved ones.”

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, responded to the news of the attack on the basilica, writing on Twitter: “Islamism is a monstrous fanaticism which must be fought with force and determination ... Unfortunately, we Africans know this too well. The barbarians are always the enemies of peace. The West, today France, must understand this.”

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