French PM vows to fight radical Islam in tribute to attack victims

French Prime Minister Jean Castex speaking during a tribute on Nov 7 to the victims of a knife attack in Nice. PHOTO: REUTERS

NICE (REUTERS) - French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday (Nov 7) the government would keep "fighting relentlessly" against radical Islam as he paid tribute to the three victims of a knife attack in the southern city of Nice last month.

A Tunisian man shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a church in the coastal city on Oct 29 before being shot and taken away by police.

"We know the enemy. Not only has it been identified, but it has a name, it is radical Islam, a political ideology that disfigures the Muslim religion," Mr Castex said in a speech during the ceremony.

"(It is) an enemy that the government is fighting relentlessly by providing the necessary resources and mobilising all of its forces every day," he added.

The Nice attack followed the beheading of a schoolteacher in a suburb of Paris on Oct 16 by a Chechen-born man who was apparently incensed by the teacher showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

The attack in Nice took place amid worldwide Muslim anger over France's defence of the right to publish cartoons depicting the prophet.

A 21-year-old man who recently arrived from Tunisia, suspected of being the Nice attacker, is still in a critical condition after being shot by municipal police and was transferred to a Paris hospital on Friday.

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