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Tunisian Carrying Quran Fatally Stabs 3 in France

Leaders from the UK, US and Middle East express solidarity with France as soldiers are deployed to guard schools and churches

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A young Tunisian man armed with a knife and carrying a copy of the Quran attacked worshippers in a French church and killed three Thursday, prompting the government to raise its security alert to the maximum level hours before a nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

The attack in Mediterranean city of Nice was the third in less than two months that French authorities have attributed to Muslim extremists, including the beheading of a teacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class after the images were re-published by a satirical newspaper targeted in a 2015 attack.

Thursday’s attacker was seriously wounded by police and hospitalized in life-threatening condition after the killings at the Notre Dame Basilica. The imposing edifice is located half a mile (less than a kilometer) from the site where another attacker plowed a truck into a crowd on France’s national day in 2016, killing dozens.

Leaders from around the world have offered condolences and expressed their solidarity with the people of France after the nation suffered a second suspected Islamist extremist attack on its soil in a fortnight.

President Emmanuel Macron said France was “under attack” in the wake of the killings inside the Notre-Dame basilica in the coastal city of Nice on Thursday which left three worshippers dead, but he vowed the French people would “not give in to any terror” in fighting intolerance.

As the government raised the terror alert level to the maximum “emergency” level nationwide, and soldiers were deployed to guard schools and churches in France, UK prime minister Boris Johnson said he was appalled to hear of the “barbaric attack”.

US president Donald Trump said: “America stands with our oldest ally in this fight.” Australian prime minister Scott Morrison also spoke out in support of France.

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