A member of the Senate of France has publicly stated that the final words of one victim of Nice's suspected terror attack before succumbing to her stabbing injuries were to tell her children she loved them.
"'Tell my children that I love them,' The last words of the lady slaughtered this morning in #Nice, just before passing away. Immense emotion in front of this abominable attack. Support for the families of the victims and all the inhabitants of Nice, a martyred city," Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam tweeted.
The man suspected of the shocking knife attack in Nice, France kept shouting "Allahu Akbar" even after he was shot and arrested, according to the city's mayor.
Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said the attack, in which the knifeman stormed the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Nice and killed three people, has all the hallmarks of a "terror attack".
He said: "Enough is enough. It's time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory."
Two of the victims – a man and a woman – were reportedly decapitated inside the church.
It was widely reported in French media they were beheaded, and the city's mayor also confirmed the nature of the injuries, as well as police sources speaking to Reuters.
The third victim – a woman – reportedly managed to escape and took refuge in a nearby bar where she succumbed to her injuries, reports BFMTV.
Meanwhile, almost simultaneously a security guard at the French Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was also stabbed and left with minor injuries.
And then a man shouting "Allahu Akbar" while brandishing a knife was shot dead 250km away from Nice in Avignon, according to police. Nobody else has been reported injured.
TENSIONS RISING IN FRANCE
The attacks come amid heightened security fears in France due to the ongoing row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by Charlie Hebdo.
France has provoked the ire of Iran and Turkey as it has taken a tough line in defending the cartoons of the prophet.
Samuel Paty, 47, was beheaded by 18-year-old Abdullah Anzorov on October 17 after using the cartoons to teach his students about the importance of free speech.
He was posthumously given the Legion d'Honneur – France's highest award – and French president Emmanuel Macron insisted the country would "not give up our cartoons".
Prophet Mohammed cartoons have been displayed in France in solidarity with Paty to defend what many in the country see as its values of free speech and secularism.
Macron has said he would redouble efforts to stop conservative Islamic beliefs subverting French values – which has angered many Muslims.
NICE NO STRANGER TO TERROR
A picturesque holiday escape on the French riviera, the city of Nice – population 340,000 – was the setting in 2016 for one of the world's most horrifying terror attacks.
In that attack, a terrorist drove a 19-tonne cargo truck down Nice's iconic seafront promenade on the evening of Bastille Day celebrations, when the streets were closed to cars and crowded people. He ploughed into hundreds of people during his five-minute rampage, killing 86 and injuring 458 others.