Three people have been killed in a knife attack at a church in the French city of Nice, police say.
According to Nice Mayor, Christian Estrosi, it was a terrorist attack at the heart of the Notre-Dame basilica.
One elderly victim who had come to pray was “virtually beheaded” while 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).”
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.
Police have not suggested a motive for the attack in Nice. However, it follows days of protests in some Muslim-majority countries triggered by President Macron’s defence of the publication of cartoons that depicted the Prophet Mohammed. There have been calls in some countries for a boycott of French goods.
President Emmanuel Macron is said to be on his way to the scene. Anti-terror prosecutors have opened a murder inquiry and France raised its national security alert system to its highest level.
Meanwhile, two further attacks took place on Thursday morning, one in France and one in Saudi Arabia.
A man was shot dead in Montfavet near Avignon after threatening police with a handgun. And a guard was attacked outside the French consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. A suspect was arrested and the guard taken to hospital.