Authorities in the French city of Nice are calling a fatal Thursday knife attack at the city’s cathedral a case of “Islamic terrorism.” The attacker killed three people, apparently decapitating one. The city’s mayor told reporters that the assailant, who was shot and wounded by police, “kept repeating ‘Allahu akbar’ in front of us even though he was sedated.” Allahu Akbar is Arabic for “God is great, a phrase often shouted by Islamist extremists as they carry out attacks against people they see as infidels. Thursday’s attack follows a similar incident on October 16 in which a teacher who had displayed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad during a lesson on freedom of speech was beheaded on a street in a suburb of Paris. Eyewitnesses said they heard the assailant shout “Allahu akbar” before he was shot dead. President Emmanuel Macron denounced that attack by calling for a crackdown on extreme Islam. This, in turn, ignited anti-France sentiment throughout the Muslim world, most notably in Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Macron should “have his head examined.” France responded by recalling its ambassador.
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