French police officer stands with bystanders at attack scene
Police officer organises bystanders near attack scene. Photo credit: AFP

A man with a knife attacked and killed two people and injured others in a church in the southern French city of Nice on Thursday in what officials said appeared to be an act of terrorism, according to Reuters.

Gérald Darmanin, interior minister, said he was chairing a crisis meeting on the attack in Paris. Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, said the attacker had been detained.

“I confirm that everything suggests this was a terror attack in the church of Notre-Dame in Nice,” he wrote on Twitter.

France, according to Reuters, was already on high alert after the decapitation of schoolteacher Samuel Paty this month by an Islamist Chechen refugee on the street outside his school in a Paris suburb.

Paty had been targeted by Muslim parents and Islamists on social media after he showed a class caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in a lesson on freedom of speech.