Morocco called for a “respect for otherness” in the wake of the attack on churchgoers.
Rabat – Morocco officially denounced the attack that left three people dead and multiple injured at a church in Nice, southern France, on October 29.
On behalf of the Kingdom, Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement Thursday evening condemning the attack in Nice and expressing solidarity and compassion for the victims and their families.
“The Kingdom of Morocco calls for going beyond the deleterious context and the tense climate around religion and invites the different parties to show moderation, wisdom, and respect for otherness,” the ministry’s statement concluded.
A knife-wielding man killed three people at the Basilica of Notre-Dame of Nice on Thursday morning. The suspect “virtually beheaded” an elderly person, according to reports, and also killed a man and a woman.
French media report that the perpetrator of the Nice attack is a 21-year-old man from Tunisia. Police shot him on the scene and he is receiving medical treatment while in custody.
Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said Thursday morning that “everything pointed to a terrorist attack.”
“He cried ‘Allahu Akbar!’ over and over, even after he was injured. The meaning of his gesture left no doubt,” the mayor said of the attacker.
The mayor said the French city is “once again touched in her heart by the Islamofascism that I keep denouncing.” In July 2016, Nice was the site of one of France’s worst terrorist attacks, when a 31-year-old man from Tunisia drove a truck into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day. He killed 86 and injured 434.
French President Emmanuel Macron also described Thursday’s murders in Nice as “Islamist terrorism,” traveling to the city to support the families of the victims.
“I want to say here first and foremost the support of the whole nation for Catholics, from France and elsewhere. After the assassination of Father Hamel in August 2016, it is once again the Catholics who are attacked in our country,” Macron said.
The French government has raised its security alert status to the highest threat level. Macron ordered the deployment of 7,000 French troops to protect churches and other places of worship, as well as schools.
Avignon, in southern France, suffered a similar scare Thursday morning when a gun-wielding man threatened pedestrians. French media report he shouted “Allahu Akbar” before police shot him dead. The attack resulted in no other injuries.