News Home » Europe » France attack: What we know about stabbings in Nice

France attack: What we know about stabbings in Nice

The Boss 37 October 30, 2020
— Eric Ciotti (@ECiotti) October 29, 2020

Speaking to French media, parishioners described Mr Loquès as a man who "always smiled" and dedicated his life "to serving the church".

"He fed the refugees, he had a good heart," one worshipper who came to pray for Mr Loquès told broadcaster France Info.

A second victim has been named by Brazilian media as Simone Barreto Silva, a 44-year-old mother of three who was a caregiver for the elderly. Born in Salvador on Brazil's eastern coast, Ms Silva had lived in France for 30 years.

Severely injured, she managed to flee the attacker and took refuge in a restaurant near the church.

"Tell my children I love them," she told paramedics, according to French cable channel BFM TV. She died a short time later.

Brazil's foreign ministry confirmed one citizen was among the victims of Thursday's "atrocious attack". In a statement, President Jair Bolsonaro offered his "deepest condolences to the family".

The third victim, a woman aged about 60, has not yet been named. She was found "almost beheaded" near the holy water font, a police source told Le Figaro.

Police have not yet confirmed the suspect's name, although French and Italian media have named him as Brahim Aioussaoi.

According to Mr Ricard, the suspect is a Tunisian national born in 1999. He is said to have entered Europe on 20 September, travelling by boat to the Italian island of Lampedusa, before later arriving in France.

The suspect was found with a document issued by the Italian Red Cross, although it is not clear how he was able to leave Lampedusa or reach France.

Mr Ricard said the man was not known to French security services.

Tunisian authorities have also opened an investigation, but a senior judiciary official said the suspect had not been listed as a terrorist in the country.

Islamist violence has once again become a key issue in France in recent weeks, following the beheading of a teacher outside Paris earlier this month.

image caption"I am Samuel", read one sign at a vigil for teacher Samuel Paty

Samuel Paty had shown his students controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson on free speech.

While crowds gathered across the country to mourn his death, the killing reopened the debate about secularism and freedom of speech in France.

President Macron pledged to crack down on radical Islam in response to Mr Paty's killing.

However, his response has been met with protests and calls for a boycott of French goods in a number of Muslim countries.

Two other attacks took place on Thursday: one in France and one outside the French consulate in the Saudi city of Jeddah.