Three people were killed and several others wounded Thursday in a knife attack at a church in Nice, France. The city's mayor described the assault as terrorism, and France's anti-terrorism prosecutor's office said it has opened an investigation. The attacker was wounded, arrested, and taken to a nearby hospital, two police officials told The Associated Press. The man was believed to have acted alone, the officials added. A police source told Reuters one of the victims had her head severed.
The motive for the attack isn't clear, but France has been in turmoil for the past 10 days over the beheading of a Parisian middle school teacher, Samuel Paty, by a Chechen Muslim extremist evidently upset that Paty had shown his class a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed drawn years ago by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The cartoon, considered blasphemous by many Muslims, has been widely displayed in marches to support the slain teacher and freedom of speech. In September, a man seeking asylum had attacked bystanders outside Charlie Hebdo's former office with a butcher knife.