Two people have died and several have been injured after a knife attack near the main church in Nice, southern France, French media reported.

The French Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, indicated that a police operation was being carried out in the city.

While the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, assured that the suspect behind the attack had been arrested.

For the mayor everything suggests that it would be a terrorist attack. The stabbing would have occurred in the church of Notre Dame, Estrosi reported.

According to “Le Figaro”, the national and municipal police arrested the perpetrator of the attack. The authorities also deployed an anti-explosives team to the scene and the terrorist trail was not ruled out.

The attack comes as France is still recovering from the beheading earlier this month of French high school teacher Samuel Paty by a young man of Chechen origin. The attacker had said he wanted to punish Paty for showing students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a civics lesson.

It was not immediately clear what the reason for the Nice attack was, or if there was any connection with the cartoons, which Muslims consider blasphemy. Since Paty’s murder, French officials, backed by many ordinary citizens, have reaffirmed the right to display the cartoons, and the images have been widely displayed in marches in solidarity with the murdered teacher. This has provoked a torrent of anger in parts of the Muslim world, with some governments accusing French leader Emmanuel Macron of pursuing an anti-Islamic agenda.

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