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Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant, receives medical treatment after killing three worshippers
The Islamist terrorist who shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he beheaded a woman and killed two others in an attack on a Catholic church in France was pictured last night.
Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian who arrived in Europe on a migrant boat just last month, attacked worshippers with a 12-inch blade in the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, slitting the throat of an elderly woman near the church's holy water in a beheading attempt.
He hacked 54-year-old sacristan Vincent Loques to death as he prepared for the first Mass of the day.
Brazilian-born Simone Barreto Silva, 44, also succumbed to her injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby burger bar. The mother-of-three's last words were to paramedics: 'Tell my children that I love them'.
The assailant was shot 14 times by armed police as he screamed 'God is greatest' in Arabic during the attack. He continued to say 'Allahu Akbar' while under medication as he was taken to hospital, Nice's Mayor Christian Estrosi said.
Aoussaoui arrived in Nice at around 6.30am via the railway station, where he quickly changed his clothes, French prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard told journalists yesterday. CCTV then showed him arriving in the church at 8.30am and staying there for nearly half an hour.
The assailant entered Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa on September 20 and arrived in Paris on October 9. The travel information came from a document on Aoussaoui from the Italian Red Cross, Mr Ricard said.
Investigators found two unused knives, a Koran and two mobile phones, in addition to a bag with some personal effects. He was unknown to French security services, Mr Ricard told a press conference.
A picture showing Aoussaoui bleeding on the floor and being treated by paramedics after he was shot by police was tweeted by the head of the respected SITE organisation.
The killings, which occurred ahead of the Catholic holy day of All Saints Day on Sunday, prompted the French government to raise the terror alert level to the maximum 'emergency' level nationwide.
It followed warnings of further terrorist atrocities just days before the church rampage, after Al-Qaeda published a press release calling for 'jihad' (holy war) over newspaper Charlie Hebdo's caricatures of the Propet Mohammed.
President Emmanuel Macron, who quickly travelled to Nice, announced surveillance of churches by France's Sentinelle military patrols would be bolstered to 7,000 troops from 3,000.
Security at schools would also be boosted, he said. 'Quite clearly, it is France that is being attacked,' Mr Macron said, and vowed the country 'will not give up on our values'.
He threw his weight behind the Catholic church, saying: 'The entire nation will stand so that religion can continue to be exercised freely in our country.' He also called for 'unity' urging people 'not to give in to the spirit of division'.
Mourners attended vigils to pay tribute to the victims of the triple killing last night. They lit candles outside the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice and in front of the French Embassy in Berlin.
The attack comes amid fury across the Islamic world at President Macron for defending satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and on the day that Sunni Muslims mark the Prophet's birthday.
Several Muslim-majority countries launched campaigns to boycott French products, while protesters burnt the tricolor and posters of Macron at demonstrations in Syria, Libya, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine.
Also on a day of terror for France:
Brazilian-born Simone Barreto Silva, 44, also succumbed to her injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby burger bar. Her last words were to paramedics, who she told: 'Tell my children that I love them'
Vincent Loques, 54, a sacristan of the Notre Dame basilica in the city of Nice, was brutally killed as he prepared for the first Mass of the day after 21-year-old Tunisian migrant Brahim Aoussaoui attacked the church
Forensic officers work at night in front of Notre Dame Basilica in Nice after a terror attack on a Catholic church
Forensic officers work at night in a coffee shop near Notre Dame Basilica in Nice following an Islamist terror attack
Three people have died after a knifeman attacked the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, before he was shot by police
President Emmanuel Macron visits the scene of a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice
French coroners carry out the body of one of the three people killed at the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice
People light candles outside the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice following an Islamist terror attack
Tribute to the victims of the attack on the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice, with mourners holding the tricolor flag by the church
People mourn as they attend a commemoration for the victims killed during an in a church attack in Nice
Muslim faithfuls pray at the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica in Marseille, south-eastern France
French police officers secure the street near the entrance of the Notre Dame Basilica church in Nice
Emmanuel Macron takes part in a video conference on Covid-19 with members of the European Council at the Elysee Palace