Nice attack: Man, 47, arrested over 'contact' with attacker who killed 3

30 October 2020, 08:34 | Updated: 30 October 2020, 08:46

Police guard the scene after the attack in Nice
Police guard the scene after the attack in Nice. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

A 47-year-old man who is suspected to have had contact with the attacker who killed three people in a church in Nice has been detained by investigators.

It emerged today that the attacker was approached by a man not long before the terror attack, who may have had links to an Al-Qaeda network.

Read more: Victim of Nice attack pictured

The suspected attacker, who was shot 14 times at the scene by police, was named as Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian who arrived in Europe on a migrant boat just last month at Lampedusa.

The attack in Nice was the third in two months in France that authorities have attributed to Muslim extremists, including the beheading of a teacher.

It comes during a growing anger over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that were republished in recent months by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo - renewing debate in France and the Muslim world over the depictions that Muslims consider offensive but are protected by French free speech laws.

Inside the Nice basilica a man and woman were killed by the attacker. The third victim, a 44-year-old woman who managed to flee, died at a nearby restaurant.

A 60-year-old woman whose body was found at the entry of the church, suffered "a very deep throat slitting, like a decapitation", Mr Ricard said.

The 55-year-old man also died after deep cuts to his throat, the prosecutor added.

An investigation was opened for a terrorist murder and attempted murder. The prosecutor said the attacker, who was born in 1999, was not known to security services as a potential threat.