France raises its alert level to maximum after a Nice attack

France’s prime minister says the country is going on emergency alert after the killings of three people at the Notre Dame Basilica in the southern city of Nice.

A man armed with a knife attacked two women and a man at the church Thursday morning before he was shot by police. As he lay wounded, the Nice mayor said the attacker repeated “Allah Akbar!” over and over. French authorities have opened a terrorism investigation.

Prime Minister Jean Castex told French lawmakers that the country would raise its alert level to “emergency” in response to the attack, which comes during high tensions over the re-publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The caricatures have ignited Muslim anger around the world.

Castex’s announcement came hours before France was to go into a one-month coronavirus lockdown.

Thursday’s attack was the third since a terrorism trial opened in the January 2015 attacks against Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.

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