France hit by ‘terror’ attack as ‘woman beheaded in church’ and city shut down

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At least two people have died and several others are injured after a knife attack inside the Notre-Dame church in Nice in a suspected terrorist attack.

Early reports suggest that a woman has been beheaded inside the church, although these are currently unconfirmed.

Nice-Matin reports that a person of around 70 years old was beheaded inside the Notre-Dame basilica.

Earlier in the morning, gunshots were also reported in the area.

The city's mayor, Christian Estrosi, tweeted: "I am on site with the [police] who arrested the perpetrator of the attack.

"I confirm that everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice."

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin confirmed on Twitter he is to chair a crisis meeting following the incident.

Members of the public have been urged by police to avoid the area.

In a tweet, the police service wrote: "Police operation in progress do not use Notre Dame Sector Center ville Nice."

The area has been cordoned off by authorities and an alleged suspect has reportedly been arrested.

A minute of silence was held at the French National Assembly on Thursday morning following the incident.

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