3 dead in French church knife attack: Other similar attacks in France since 2015

French police officers securing the street in Nice, France, on Oct 29, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (AFP) - An attacker with a knife killed three people, including a woman who was decapitated, at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday (Oct 29), police said, in an incident the city's mayor described as terrorism.

Here is a recap of previous knife attacks in France since 2015.


Oct 29: A man bursts into a church in the southern city of Nice, killing three people and injuring several others before being shot and arrested by police.

The same say, police shoot and kill a man in Montfavet, near the city of Avignon in southern France, after he had earlier threatened passersby with a handgun.

Oct 16: A teacher is decapitated near a school on the outskirts of Paris. The assailant is shot dead by police.

Prosecutors say they are treating the incident as "a murder linked to a terrorist organisation". Police say the victim had recently shown caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in class.

Sept 25: A man armed with a knife seriously wounds two people in a suspected terror attack outside the former offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, three weeks into the trial of men accused of being accomplices in the 2015 massacre of the newspaper's staff.

April 4: In southeastern Romans-sur-Isere, a riverside town, a 33-year-old Sudanese refugee goes on a stabbing spree in broad daylight, killing two people.

After the rampage the assailant is arrested without a fight and prosecutors launch an investigation into "murder linked to a terrorist enterprise" and "association with terrorist wrongdoers".

Jan 4: A knife-wielding man runs amok in a park south of Paris, killing a man walking with his wife and wounding two other people before being shot dead by police.

Anti-terror investigators take over the probe following evidence that 22-year-old Nathan C. had recently converted to Islam.


Oct 3: Mickael Harpon, a 45-year-old computer expert in the Paris police intelligence-gathering department, uses a kitchen knife and an oyster shucker to kill four colleagues.

His 30-minute rampage ends when an officer shoots him dead. It emerges that Harpon had converted to Islam about 10 years previously and had connections in the ultra-conservative Salafist movement.


May 12: Khamzat Azimov, 20, a naturalised Frenchman of Chechen origin, stabs to death a 29-year-old man in Paris' busy Opera district before being shot dead by police. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group claims responsibility.


Oct 1: A 29-year-old Tunisian kills two young women with a knife at the main train station in the southern city of Marseille.

He is shot dead by soldiers and ISIS claims his attack.


July 26: Two teenagers slit the throat of an 85-year-old priest in front of worshippers in a church in the western town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

The 19-year-olds are killed by police and their act claimed by the ISIS group to whom they had sworn allegiance in a video.

June 13: A 25-year-old uses a knife to kill a police officer and his partner at their home in Magnanville, west of Paris, in front of their young son.

He is killed by a police SWAT team but has already claimed the murders on social media in the name of ISIS.


June 26: A 35-year-old attacker beheads his boss and displays the severed head, surrounded by two Islamic flags, at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in southeastern France. He commits suicide in his jail cell.

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