As rage against police oppression continues across Nigerian cities by angry youths, protesters have blocked the Abuja city gate and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Road.
The youth barricaded the expressway preventing vehicular movement on the ever busy road.
The crowd, which had continued to increase by day, vowed not to back down on their demands for a country where the system works for every citizen.
PHOTONEWS: #EndSARS Protesters Take Over Abuja City Gate, Block Airport Road As Rage Against Police Oppression Continues Across Nigerian Cities#EndSWAT #EndBadGoveranceInNigeria #EndPoliceBrutality
FOLLOW LIVE: https://t.co/ZNyTwH4LNy pic.twitter.com/CfDhNI9SfX
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) October 16, 2020
The youth also displayed a banner containing the photographs of victims of police brutality in the country.
The blockade has led to heavy traffic jam in the area as motorists were forced to take alternative routes.
Meanwhile, armed policemen attached to the city gate allowed the protesters to move unhindered.
Furious Sir Keir Starmer says Jeremy Corbyn could be EXPELLED
An investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found Labour was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.
But Mr Corbyn rejected some of the equality watchdog’s findings and claimed the issue had been ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’ by his critics.
That prompted him to be suspended from the party pending investigation and Sir Keir warned this morning that the probe could result in his predecessor being kicked out of Labour for good.
Sir Keir insisted ‘there is no reason for a civil war in our party’ but the decision to suspend Mr Corbyn has caused a damaging and growing split.
Allies of Mr Corbyn warned Sir Keir that ‘Jeremy has an army behind him and a lot of legal funding’ while Unite the union boss Len McCluskey hit out at the decision and said ‘a split party will be doomed to defeat’.
Sir Keir Starmer said this morning that Jeremy Corbyn could ultimately be expelled from the Labour Party over the anti-Semitism row
Mr Corbyn was suspended pending an investigation after he said the issue had been ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’
Unite the union boss Len McCluskey, an ally of Mr Corbyn, said ‘a split party will be doomed to defeat’ amid a growing Labour civil war
The charges against Labour in damning 130-page report
- Labour breached the Equality Act 2010 by committing ‘unlawful harassment’ in two of the complaints investigated. They included ‘using antisemitic tropes and suggesting that complaints of antisemitism were fake or smears’.
- One of the cases involved Ken Livingstone, who in 2016 defended MP Naz Shah over claims of anti-Semitism by claiming there was a smear campaign by ‘the Israel lobby’ to undermine and disrupt Mr Corbyn’s leadership. He later resigned from the Labour Party after being suspended.
- A further 18 cases were ‘borderline’, involving local councillors, local election candidates and Constituency Labour Party (CLP) officials.
- Analysis of 70 anti-Semitism complaint files found 23 incidences of ‘political interference’ by Mr Corbyn’s office and others. This included ‘clear examples of interference at various stages throughout the complaint handling process, including in decisions on whether to investigate and whether to suspend’ party members.
- The party’s complaints process was ‘inconsistent, poor, and lacking in transparency’.
- In cases where a complaint of anti-Semitism was upheld, it was ‘difficult to draw conclusions on whether the sanctions applied were fair and consistent’.
- Recommendations made by the watchdog include commissioning an independent process to handle anti-Semitism complaints and acknowledging the effect political interference has had and implementing clear rules to stop it happening again.
Labour will now conduct a formal investigation into the comments made yesterday by Mr Corbyn.
Sir Keir was pushed on whether that probe could end with the former leader being expelled.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘There is a process that will now go through the governance and legal unit, there are a possible number of sanctions.’
Asked if one of the options is expulsion, Sir Keir replied: ‘Yes, people have been expelled from the Labour Party. There have been I think 827 cases since I became leader which is more than all of the cases in 2019 and in a third of those cases people have been expelled.
‘But it is not for me to say what process should be followed, that is for the General Secretary, or what sanction is in order.’
Sir Keir said he was ‘deeply disappointed’ by Mr Corbyn’s comments as he claimed the ex-leader was aware he would warn people against claiming anti-Semitism had been exaggerated.
He said: ‘I’m deeply disappointed in that response from Jeremy Corbyn yesterday not least because I spoke to him the night before the report to set out how I intended to deal with it.
‘And from discussions yesterday morning I’m in no doubt that Jeremy Corbyn and his team knew exactly what I was going to say in my response about not only anti-Semitism but about the denial and the arguments about exaggeration and it’s just a factional fight.’
Sir Keir said he hoped the Labour Party would be able to ‘draw a line and move forward’ following the publication of the EHRC report.
But he is facing a growing party split over the decision to suspend Mr Corbyn.
Allies of Mr Corbyn told The Telegraph: ‘This was a disastrous miscalculation. It could now escalate.
‘He doesn’t understand the scale of what is about to happen, and it’s going to get very difficult for him. Jeremy has an army behind him and a lot of legal funding.’
Meanwhile, Mr McCluskey, an ally of Mr Corbyn, said the decision to suspend him was an ‘act of grave injustice’ which could ‘create chaos within the party’ and put any chance of election success in jeopardy.
‘A split party will be doomed to defeat,’ he said.
Responding to Mr McCluskey’s comments, Sir Keir said he believed there is ‘no reason for a civil war’.
How Corbyn’s future could be decided?
Jeremy Corbyn’s future in the Labour party will be decided by fellow party members.
Under rules updated at the party conference last year, the National Executive Committee (NEC) now has the power to expel those found guilty of serious transgressions.
The NEC consists of elected representatives from across various wings of the party, including MPs, local constituency parties, trade unions and Welsh and Scottish Labour.
Cases can be heard by its anti-Semitism panel or its disputes panel.
Mr Corbyn’s case will be investigated by Labour officials who prepare a report for the NEC, which then makes a decision. They are not bound by the report’s recommendations.
After the rule changes passed at the September 2019 conference, Labour’s figures show twice the number of people were expelled in two months than had been expelled during the whole of 2018.
Previously expulsions could only be carried out by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee (NEC), which was charged with overseeing party discipline.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission report yesterday, which Labour has pledged to implement in full, heavily criticised its handling of complaints and punishment against those found to have been anti-Semitic.
One of its demands was that Labour, ‘in line with its commitment, and as soon as rule changes allow, commission an independent process to handle and determine anti-Semitism complaints’.
‘This should last until trust and confidence in the process is fully restored and should ensure that independent oversight and auditing are permanently embedded in the new process,’ it added.
He told Sky News: ‘What Len McCluskey is concerned about is that there shouldn’t be a split in the Labour Party and he is right about that.
‘I don’t want a split in the Labour Party. I stood as leader of the Labour Party on the basis that I would unite the party but also that I would tackle anti-Semitism.
‘I think both of those can be done. There is no reason for a civil war in our party but we are absolutely determined, I am absolutely determined to root out anti-Semitism.
‘I don’t want the words Labour Party and anti-Semitism in the same sentence again.’
In a bid for unity following the decision to suspend him, Mr Corbyn urged Labour members to ‘stay’ and fight internally against any shift to the centre ground.
But the battle lines were drawn as allies openly warned of a potential split, activists relinquished their memberships and Momentum – a campaigning arm of the party during the Islington North MP’s five-year reign – announced there will be a virtual Stand with Corbyn rally on Friday evening.
Encouraging social media followers to join the rally, Momentum posted: ‘The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn by the Labour Party leadership is a naked attack on the left that undermines the fight against anti-Semitism and makes a mockery of Keir Starmer’s pledge to unite the party.’
In an eventful day for Labour, reports surfaced that deputy leader Angela Rayner contacted Mr Corbyn and his team following his controversial statement yesterday and called for him to retract his ‘overstated’ comments.
It was his failure to withdraw the remarks that led to Labour suspending him as current leader Sir Keir sought to draw a dividing line between the party now and under Mr Corbyn’s tenure, which ended in April.
The Guardian reported that Mr Corbyn is understood to have spoken to Sir Keir ahead of the EHRC’s report publication on Wednesday evening and was reassured there was no plan to take action against him in light of its findings.
But the situation is understood to have changed after the 71-year-old released his statement, which was published only moments before Sir Keir told a press conference he would not tolerate anyone who denied the scale of the anti-Semitism crisis.
Labour stressed that the decision to suspend Mr Corbyn was taken by its General Secretary David Evans, but shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy confirmed Sir Keir was briefed beforehand and approved of the move.
Sir Keir told reporters: ‘I made it clear that we won’t tolerate anti-Semitism or the denial of anti-Semitism through the suggestion that it’s exaggerated or factional and that’s why I was disappointed in Jeremy Corbyn’s response, and that is why appropriate action has been taken, which I fully support.’
Ex-shadow chancellor John McDonnell described the suspension as ‘profoundly wrong’.
The fallout came on what Sir Keir labelled a ‘day of shame’ for Labour after the EHRC found the party broke equality law over its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.
The EHRC investigation found evidence of ‘political interference’ by then leader Mr Corbyn’s office in the complaints process.
Interim chairwoman Caroline Waters said there had been ‘inexcusable’ failures which ‘appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle anti-Semitism rather than an inability to do so’.
The watchdog identified three breaches of the Equality Act relating to political interference in complaints, failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism cases, and harassment.
The party has been served with an unlawful act notice and has been given until December 10 to draft an action plan to implement the report’s recommendations. The notice is legally enforceable by the courts if not fulfilled.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Nice terror attack: Jihadist seen smiling in photo taken as he entered Europe
Pictured smiling just weeks before massacring three people at a Catholic church in Nice, this is the face of terrorist killer Brahim Aoussaoui as he entered mainland Europe.
The picture was taken by authorities in the Italian port city of Bari, where Aoussaoui was taken ashore on October 8 having spent 20 days in coronavirus quarantine – first on the island of Lampedusa, where he landed on September 20, and then on board quarantine ship Rhapsody.
The ship, carrying some 800 migrants, had been moored off the coast of Bari for 15 days where fellow migrants say Aoussaoui spent most of his time on the phone, talking about how he wanted to go to France.
As he was taken ashore, Aoussaoui had his photograph taken, along with his name, date of birth, and fingerprints. His records were also checked, but came back clean, according to Italian media. He had no criminal record, had not previously tried to enter Italy, and had not been flagged by security services.
The following day, Aoussaoui was informed that he had no legal right to be in Italy, and was handed an order to leave the country within seven days. But, rather than being deported, Aoussaoui was released.
It is not clear exactly when he left Bari, but it is thought he made his way to Paris on the train on either October 9 or 10, allowing him to cross the border into France undetected.
It is then thought that he stayed in the French capital until October 29, the day of the massacre, when he caught the early-morning train to Nice.
Arriving in the city at 6.30am, he is known to have sent a photo of the Notre Dame basilica – the same church he would later attack – to his brother back in Tunisia, saying he wanted to spend the night there.
As the church opened at 8.30am he made his way inside, staying there for around half an hour before pulling out a 12-inch blade and launching his attack, killing three people in ‘horrific’ fashion.
Nice terrorist Brahim Aoussaoui is seen in a photograph taken at the Italian port city of Bari, where he disembarked from a coronavirus quarantine ship on October 8 – marking his arrival in mainland Europe
Another image of Aouissaoui is held by his mother in the Tunisian province of Sfax, where she revealed that she had begged her son not to travel to France
The first to die was an as-yet unidentified parishioner in her sixties, who had her throat slit near the church’s font in an attempted beheading.
The next to die was the church’s 54-year-old sacristan Vincent Loques, who had opened the doors to Aoussaoui just 30 minutes earlier, and was busy preparing for the first Mass of the day.
Brazilian-born Simone Barreto Silva, 44, another parishioner, was then stabbed multiple times but managed to escape the church, running to a nearby burger bar where she bled to death.
The mother-of-three’s last words to paramedics were: ‘Tell my children that I love them’.
A local called police who arrived around 9.10am and shot Aoussaoui 14 times as he screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ – God is greatest in Arabic – a phrase he kept shouting even after being sedated and put into an ambulance.
Investigators found two unused knives, a Koran and two mobile phones, in addition to a bag with some personal effects. He was unknown to French security services, Mr Ricard told a press conference.
Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant, receives medical treatment after killing three worshippers
A picture showing Aoussaoui bleeding on the floor and being treated by paramedics after he was shot by police was tweeted by the head of the respected SITE organisation.
Aoussaoui’s family, speaking from the impoverished Tunisian town of Bouhajla where he lived before going to Europe, said he had been in contact with them since arriving in France.
From the Tunisian province of Sfax, the mother, her eyes wet with tears, said she was surprised to hear her son was in France when he called upon his arrival and had no idea what he was planning.
‘You don’t know the French language, you don’t know anyone there, you’re going to live alone there, why, why did you go there?’ she said she told him over the phone at the time.
His brother told the Al Arabiya TV network: ‘He told me he wanted to spend the night in front of the cathedral. He also sent me a photo of the building. He phoned me when he arrived in France.’
He then told of the family’s shock that Brahim Aoussaoui was responsible for the terrorist attack.
‘What we saw in the images is him, our son,’ they said.
Brahim had struggled to find regular work before leaving the country and did ‘various jobs’, a neighbour said.
Meanwhile the Tunisian judicial spokesman said Brahim had not been classified as a hardliner before leaving the country, and was not known to security forces. He said Brahim had left the country on or around September 14.
The killings, which occurred ahead of the Catholic holy day of All Saints Day on Sunday – and on the day that Sunni Muslims mark the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday – prompted the French government to raise the terror alert level to the maximum ’emergency’ level nationwide.
It followed warnings of further terrorist atrocities just days before the church rampage, after Al-Qaeda published a press release calling for ‘jihad’ (holy war) over newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of the Prophet.
Counter-terrorism police last night arrested a 47-year-old man in Nice on suspicion of being an accomplice to the knifeman and providing him with one of two mobile phones that the attacker was found with.
The man is believed to have been in close contact with the 21-year-old jihadist on Wednesday, the day before the attack, police sources told French media.
President Emmanuel Macron, who quickly travelled to Nice, announced surveillance of churches by France’s Sentinelle military patrols would be bolstered to 7,000 troops from 3,000.
Security at schools would also be boosted, he said. ‘Quite clearly, it is France that is being attacked,’ Mr Macron said, and vowed the country ‘will not give up on our values’.
He threw his weight behind the Catholic church, saying: ‘The entire nation will stand so that religion can continue to be exercised freely in our country.’ He also called for ‘unity’ urging people ‘not to give in to the spirit of division’.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, speaking on French radio on Friday, added that France is ‘at war… against an ideology, the Islamist ideology, which wants to impose its cultural codes, its way of living… through terror.’
He said France was a ‘big target’ for terrorists because it symbolises freedom, secular society, and the rule of law – pointing to the ongoing trial of 14 people charged over the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine.
‘Islamism is a form of fascism in the 21st century,’ he added, ‘an extremism that we must fight.’
VICTIM: Brazilian-born Simone Barreto Silva, 44, also succumbed to her injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby burger bar. Her last words were to paramedics, who she told: ‘Tell my children that I love them’
VICTIM: Vincent Loques, 54, a sacristan of the Notre Dame basilica in the city of Nice, was brutally killed as he prepared for the first Mass of the day after 21-year-old Tunisian migrant Brahim Aoussaoui attacked the church
KILLER’S MOTHER: Kmar (right), the mother of Nice attacker Brahim Aouissaoui who killed three people in Thursday’s terror attack, cries at her home in Tunisia last night after being questioned by counter-terrorism police
Forensic officers work at night in front of Notre Dame Basilica in Nice after a terror attack on a Catholic church
Forensic officers work at night in a coffee shop near Notre Dame Basilica in Nice following an Islamist terror attack
People light candles outside the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basilica in Nice following an Islamist terror attack
Tribute to the victims of the attack on the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice, with mourners holding the tricolor flag by the church
People mourn as they attend a commemoration for the victims killed during an in a church attack in Nice
Muslim faithfuls pray at the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica in Marseille, south-eastern France
French police officers secure the street near the entrance of the Notre Dame Basilica church in Nice
Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit, French Prime Minister Jean Castex and President of Bishops’ Conference of France Eric de Moulins-Beaufort talk to the press after their meeting at the Matignon Hotel in Paris
People mourn as they attend a commemoration for the victims killed during a church attack in Nice
People light candles outside the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basilica in Nice in a vigil to remember the victims
A woman places a candle at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Nice attack, in front of the French embassy in Berlin
Darmanin also confirmed that 18 suspected Islamists will be expelled from the country in the coming days, in addition to 14 that were expelled after the last terror attack in which teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded.
Mourners attended vigils to pay tribute to the victims of the triple killing last night. They lit candles outside the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basilica in Nice and in front of the French Embassy in Berlin.
There were also tears in Tunisia where the attacker’s mother, Kmar, wept after being questioned by police at her home in Sfax.
The attack comes amid fury across the Islamic world at President Macron for defending satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and on the day that Sunni Muslims mark the Prophet’s birthday.
Several Muslim-majority countries launched campaigns to boycott French products, while protesters burnt the tricolor and posters of Macron at demonstrations in Syria, Libya, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine.
Also on a day of terror for France:
- A security guard at the French consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was stabbed and wounded;
- A man armed with a knife was arrested in Sartrouville near a church after vowing ‘to do as in Nice’;
- An Afghan man was arrested in Lyon trying to board a train while armed with a long knife;
- Malaysia’s ex-PM said that Muslims have a right ‘to kill millions of French people’ if Islam is insulted;
- French politicians lined up to demand tougher action against what Nice’s mayor branded ‘Islamo-fascism’;
- Online jihadists celebrated the triple killing in France and Saudi Arabia yesterday, a report by SITE said
Muslims ‘have a right to kill French people’, ex Malaysian PM says
Malaysia‘s former prime minister said that Muslims have a right ‘to kill millions of French people’, shortly after a knife-wielding Islamist killed three people in a deadly terror attack in Nice.
Mahathir Mohamad, who lost power in Muslim-majority Malaysia in February, claimed that freedom of expression does not include ‘insulting other people’ amid a row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
The 95-year-old politician said he did not approve of the beheading of a French school teacher for sharing caricatures of the Prophet, but said: ‘Irrespective of the religion professed, angry people kill’.
‘The French in the course of their history [have] killed millions of people. Many were Muslims,’ he said in a tweet which has since been removed for violating the website’s rules.
Mahathir, who has drawn controversy for comments about Jews and LGBT people in the past, went on: ‘Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.’
The Malaysian politician said that ‘by and large’, Muslims have not applied the principle of ‘eye for an eye’: ‘Muslims don’t. The French shouldn’t. Instead the French should teach their people to respect other people’s feelings’.
Mahathir, who served as Malaysian premier twice for a total of 24 years, said that French President Emmanuel Macron was ‘very primitive’ and ‘not showing that he is civilised’.
In the Nice attack, the first victim – a woman in her sixties – was attacked after coming there early to pray and was found ‘almost beheaded’ close to the church font.
The 45-year-old sacristan, Vincent Loques, a father-of-two, was then attacked and also beheaded.
Another woman – now identified as Simone Barreto Silva – was then stabbed ‘multiple times’ and managed to flee to a bar across the street, where she died.
Police were called and arrived at 9.10am. They stormed the basilica, shooting and arresting the attacker.
The attacker is a 21-year-old Tunisian who is thought to have arrived in France via Italy, after being smuggled across the Mediterranean.
According to Italian newspaper Ill Messaggero, Aoussaoui arrived on the island of Lampedusa on September 20 before being transferred to coronavirus quarantine.
He was then taken to a migrant centre on the Italian mainland on October 9, before being told to leave Italian territory and released. From there, he made his way to France. It is not clear precisely when he arrived.
Italian security services are now investigating why Aoussaoui was freed rather than detained awaiting deportation.
Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said Aoussaoui ‘kept shouting Allahu Akbar even after being medicated’, and that ‘the meaning of his gesture is not in doubt’.
‘Enough is enough,’ he said. ‘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.’
Estrosi said the victims had been killed in a ‘horrible way’. ‘The methods match, without doubt, those used against the brave teacher in Conflans Sainte Honorine, Samuel Paty,’ he said.
Meanwhile Eric Ciotti, a local councillor, tweeted: ‘I have just asked President Macron to suspend all migratory flows and all asylum procedures, particularly at the Italian border. We must protect the French!’
In Sartrouville, north of Paris, a man was arrested around 1pm after his father called police and said his son had left home and planned ‘to do as in Nice.’
Police stopped the man in his car near a local church, and Le Parisien reports that he was in possession of a knife. The car was searched, but nothing else was found.
Meanwhile in Lyon, an Afghan man in his 20s was arrested while trying to board a tram carrying a long knife. The man was known to French intelligence services.
In Avignon, a man armed with a handgun began threatening people in the Montfavet around 11.15am while shouting Allahu Akbar, France1 reported.
Police rushed to the scene and confronted the man, who refused to drop his weapon. Police then shot the man with a Taser, which failed to stop him, so they opened fire with live ammunition, killing him.
French anti-terror investigators have announced they are leading the probe into the attack in Nice, but have not yet taken up the investigation in Avignon.
Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, a man was arrested after stabbing a guard at the French consulate with ‘a sharp tool’. The attacker was arrested while the guard was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
France’s embassy in Riyadh condemned the ‘attack on diplomatic premises which can never be justified’.
A woman, believed to be the wife of the church warden (wearing the beige jumper) is seen at the scene of the attack in Nice
A woman, believed to be a close friend of one of the victims, weeps in front of the basilica after three people were killed
President Emmanuel Macron visits the scene of a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice
Three people have died after a knifeman attacked the Notre Dame basilica in Nice, before he was shot by police
French coroners carry out the body of one of the three people killed at the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basilica in Nice
Police swarmed the area around 9am, running into the church before the attacker was shot and arrested. Mayor Christian Estrosi said the attacker kept shouting Allahu Akbar even after being medicated
It was initially thought police had foiled another Islamist attack in Avignon, when an armed man was shot dead, but he later turned out to be a member of a far-Right organisation
‘Eradicate this plague’: French politicians demand action to ‘wipe out Islamo-fascism’ after three die in Nice terror attack
French politicians lined up to demand tougher action against Islamist terrorism after three people were murdered by a knifeman in Nice.
The triple murder is the latest in a long line of terror attacks in France in recent years, including the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015 and the beheading of a school teacher two weeks ago after he displayed some of the magazine’s cartoons.
Nice’s mayor Christian Estrosi said that ‘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 country’.
One of Emmanuel Macron‘s party colleagues called for ‘total mobilisation’ against extremism in what another called a ‘war that the Islamists are waging on our nation’.
Macron’s prime minister Jean Castex said France’s alert level had been raised to its highest ‘attack emergency’ setting after the violence.
Within hours of the Nice attack, a gunman had been shot dead by police in Paris while a knifeman was arrested for attacking a guard at a French consulate in Saudi Arabia.
Speaking in parliament, where he had earlier been talking about France’s new lockdown, Castex said the Nice attack was ‘as cowardly as it is barbaric’.
French anti-terror prosecutors have opened an inquiry into what mayor Estrosi called an ‘Islamo-fascist attack.’
French diplomats also called on Saudi authorities to ‘shed light on this attack’ and ensure the safety of French people in the kingdom.
‘We call on our colleagues in Saudi Arabia to show maximum vigilance,’ the embassy said after Saudi security forces apprehended the suspect, who is said to be a Saudi national in his 40s.
The Nice attack happened less than half a mile from where another attacker plowed a truck into a Bastille Day crowd in 2016, killing dozens.
Emmanuel Macron led an emergency cabinet meeting on the attack before leaving for Nice, where he is expected to arrive shortly.
French politicians were taking part in a debate on the country’s new coronavirus restrictions when news of the attack reached them.
They observed a minute of silence before the debate broke up so an emergency security meeting could be held.
After the meeting, Prime Minister Jean Castex moved the threat level from ‘risk of attack’ to the ’emergency level’, meaning threats are imminent.
Images on French media showed the neighborhood locked down and surrounded by police and emergency vehicles. Sounds of explosions could be heard as sappers exploded suspicious objects.
The Catholic Church issued a statement, condemning the ‘unspeakable act’ and saying that ‘Christians must not become a symbol to be cut down.’
Catholic bishops in France called for all church bells to ring at 3pm in solidarity with the victims, before adding: ‘It is urgent that this gangrene be stopped as it is urgent that we find the indispensable fraternity which will hold us all upright in the face of these threats’
Pope Francis was among those leading an outpouring of sympathy, saying: ‘I pray for the victims, for their families and for the beloved French people, so that they can react to evil with good.’
Former French Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande also issued statements, the former condemning an ‘act of barbarism’ and calling on people to oppose ‘the enemies of democracy; while the latter vowed that ‘democracy is our weapon… in the face of Islamist terrorism’.
Tunisia strongly condemned a deadly ‘terrorist’ attack at the church in Nice and said it launched an investigation after reports the assailant was Tunisian.
‘Tunisia strongly condemns the terrorist incident in Nice and expresses its solidarity with the government and people of France,’ said a statement from the foreign ministry.
The North African state stressed its ‘rejection of all forms of terrorism and extremism,’ and warned against ‘ideological and political exploitation of religions,’ according to the statement.
Jihadists celebrate Nice terror attack as ISIS and al-Qaeda supporters call for more attacks against France in sickening online propaganda
Online jihadists celebrated the latest terror attack on France after three people were murdered by a knifeman in Nice on a day which also saw a gunman killed in Avignon and a guard attacked at a French consulate in Saudi Arabia.
The latest in a long line of violent attacks in France was ‘already being celebrated massively across jihadi communities’ by late Thursday, according to the SITE Intelligence monitoring group.
SITE director Rita Katz said it was ‘hard to recall social media celebration this massive for terrorism’ with jihadists taking to Twitter and Facebook to welcome the latest grisly murders.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the violence, but it comes amid high tensions between France and the Muslim world after a teacher was beheaded for showing Prophet Mohammed cartoons to his class two weeks ago.
Katz said that jihadists were celebrating the attackers ‘freedom of action’ after three violent episodes in the space of a few hours.
‘These new attacks comes amid a massive and enduring wave of jihadi media condemning France and its cartoonists,’ she said.
A report by SITE said that jihadists were ‘overjoyed’ by the news from Nice, Avignon and Saudi Arabia.
Extremists linked to both ISIS and al-Qaeda have seized on the beheading of Samuel Paty earlier this month to incite more attacks against France.
Katz said that the ‘prospect of co-ordination’ between the various attackers seemed ‘increasingly plausible’, although not confirmed.
The assailant, who was shot by police and arrested, is reportedly a Tunisian migrant who recently arrived in France via Lampedusa, Italy, according to sources close to the case.
Condemnation came from US President Donald Trump, UN chief Antonio Guterres, as well as European, Arab and Israeli leaders.
‘Our hearts are with the people of France. America stands with our oldest Ally in this fight,’ Trump tweeted. ‘These Radical Islamic terrorist attacks must stop immediately. No country, France or otherwise can long put up with it!’
Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden vowed to crack down on ‘extremist violence’ if elected.
‘Jill and I are keeping the French people in our prayers following the horrific terror attack in Nice – which targeted innocents in a house of worship,’ he said on Twitter.
‘A Biden-Harris administration will work with our allies and partners to prevent extremist violence in all forms.’
Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended his condolences to French President Emmanuel Macron and families of the victims of the attack in Nice.
In a telegram quoted by the Kremlin, Putin called the attack ‘a cynical and a cruel crime inside a church’ and said that ‘the notions of human morals are absolutely alien to terrorists.’
Saudi Arabia ‘strongly condemned’ deadly stabbings Thursday in the French city of Nice, which authorities are investigating as the latest terrorist attack in France.
A knife-wielding man killed three people at a church in Nice on Thursday, slitting the throat of at least one of them, in an attack that triggered global shock.
‘We strongly condemn and denounce the terrorist attack that occurred… in Nice, France, which resulted in the death and injury of a number of people,’ the Saudi foreign ministry said on Twitter.
‘We reiterate the kingdom’s categorical rejection of such extremist acts that are inconsistent with all religions, human beliefs and common sense, and we affirm the importance of rejecting practices that generate hatred, violence and extremism.’
The French Council of Muslim Worship also issued a statement strongly condemning the attack.
‘As a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their relatives, I call on the Muslims of France to cancel all the festivities of the Mawlid feast,’ which takes place on October 28 and 29.
The attack is just the latest to strike France, after history teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in another attack north of Paris.
Paty was stabbed by an 18-year-old Chechen after he showed the cartoons to his students during a lesson on free speech.
French politicians were taking part in a coronavirus lockdown debate when the news reached them – and held a minute of silence in the chamber (pictured)
General view of the Black Carpet to pay tribute to victims of the attack in Nice at the Cannes Festival
Players and referees at the OGC Nice v Hapoel Be’er Sheva game in Allianz Riviera, Nice, line up before the match in a minute silence to commemorate the victims of the Nice killings
Parents of pupils at the school had led a campaign against him, before the attack took place. Seven have been arrested.
Just a few weeks earlier, an 18-year-old Pakistani stabbed a wounded two people outside the old offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
UN extremism official blasts ‘inflammatory’ Charlie Hebdo cartoons
The head of a UN anti-extremism body expressed ‘deep concern’ Wednesday about growing tensions over satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, urging ‘mutual respect’ between people.
The statement by Miguel Angel Moratinos – who heads the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations – follows growing anger in the Muslim world over France’s response to the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils the images as part of a class on free speech.
President Emmanuel Macron has vigorously defended the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed on free speech grounds, sparking angry protests across swathes of the Muslim world and campaigns to boycott French products.
The UN High Representative ‘is following with deep concern the growing tensions and instances of intolerance triggered by the publication of the satirical caricatures depicting Prophet Mohammed,’ a spokesman said.
‘The inflammatory caricatures have also provoked acts of violence against innocent civilians who were attacked for their sheer religion, belief or ethnicity.
‘Insulting religions and sacred religious symbols provokes hatred and violent extremism leading to polarization and fragmentation of the society.’
The man has admitted to police that he was targeting the magazine for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also spoke out to condemn the attack, tweeting: ‘I am appalled to hear the news from Nice this morning of a barbaric attack at the Notre-Dame Basilica.
‘Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and the UK stands steadfastly with France against terror and intolerance.’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed ‘solidarity’ with France, saying she is ‘deeply moved by the cruel murders in a church in Nice.’
‘I condemn the odious and brutal attack that has just taken place in Nice and I am with France with all my heart,’ European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.
‘We will remain united and determined in the face of barbarity and fanaticism.’
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte condemned a ‘cowardly attack’ and said: ‘Our convictions are stronger than fanaticism, hatred and terror. We embrace the families of the victims and our French brothers. We are united!’
Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez added: ‘We continue to defend freedom, our democratic values, peace and the security of our citizens.’
A harder tone came from Hungary, where populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban wrote that the attack showed clearly ‘that our culture, our way of life and our European values are in the cross hairs of extremist terrorism.
‘We are ready to join forces in order to protect traditional European values and the traditional European way of life,’ Orban added.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who previously governed with far-right ministers, called the murders in Nice ‘a despicable Islamist terror attack.
‘France has our full solidarity. We will defend our values and European ‘way of life’ with all our might against Islamists and political Islam,’ Kurz said.
It also comes amid mass protests in many Islamic countries against Emmanuel Macron, after the French President spoke up in defence of the cartoons.
Tweeting in Arabic, he wrote: ‘Nothing makes us hold back, ever. We respect all differences in the spirit of peace. We never accept hate speech and defend rational debate.
‘We will always stand by human dignity and universal values.’
His remarks have prompted demonstrations in Gaza, Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and boycotts of French products in Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Palestinian territories.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led outrage at Macron, suggesting that he is mentally ill and needs to have his health evaluated.
On Thursday, Ankara said strongly condemned Thursday’s ‘savage’ knife attack in southern France that left three people dead, offering its ‘solidarity’, despite a running diplomatic spat with Paris.
‘We strongly condemn the attack committed today inside the Notre-Dame church in Nice,’ a foreign ministry statement said, while offering condolences to the victims’ relatives.
Tunisians take part in a protest against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in France
Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Tunisia on Thursday, as anger at the publication of cartoon of Mohammed spread across the Muslim world
Marchers gathered on the streets of Tunisia on Thursday, following on from marches in Gaza, Bangladesh and Pakistan
Egypt’s foreign ministry said it ‘stands as a government and people with… France in combatting this hateful incident’. Qatar voiced strong condemnation and reiterated its rejection of violence and terrorism, especially against places of worship and regardless of the motives
The foreign ministry also expressed condolences to the victim’s families.
Lebanese prime minister designate Saad Hariri voiced his ‘strongest condemnation and disapproval of the heinous criminal attack,’ and urged Muslims ‘to reject this criminal act that has nothing to do with Islam or the Prophet’.
The Islamic world’s anger at France deepened on Wednesday as Turkey condemned a Charlie Hebdo cartoon showing its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifting a woman’s burka to look at her naked backside.
Erdogan called the cartoonists ‘scoundrels’ and accused the West of wanting to ‘relaunch the Crusades’ by attacking Islam after the image appeared on the front of this week’s magazine.
‘I don’t need to say anything to those scoundrels who insult my beloved prophet on such a scale,’ Erdogan said, calling it a ‘disgusting attack’.
Erdogan’s spokesman on Thursday deflected blame over the attack in France, saying ‘we categorically deny any effort to associate us with any kind of violence.’
‘We will continue to confront any politician who insults our religion and values. We feel we owe no apology to anyone for expressing our strong opposition to racism and xenophobia,’ he said.
‘Our President has always called for cooperation against terrorism and extremism. We renew that call while we reject the damaging rhetoric and actions against our religion and culture regardless of its ideological source.’
Showing Erdogan in a T-shirt and underpants, the caricature has Erdogan saying ‘Ooh, the Prophet’ as he looks at the woman’s backside, and comes with the caption: ‘Erdogan – in private he’s very funny’.
A Charlie Hebdo cartoon showing the naked Prophet’s backside was the image which French school teacher Paty showed to his class in the lesson which led to his murder and beheading earlier this month.
President Macron has staunchly defended free expression and the right to mock religion in the wake of the terror attack, but has become a target of anger in the Islamic world.
Turkey has vowed to take ‘legal, diplomatic actions’ in response to the cartoon while Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan called for an end to ‘attacks on Islam’, saying the West should be willing to treat blasphemy in the same way as Holocaust denial.
Meanwhile Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani also took aim at France by warning that insulting the Prophet would encourage ‘violence and bloodshed’.
Indian Muslims burn posters of Emmanuel Macron during protest against his defence of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed
Thousands of Muslims gathered in Bhopal, India, to protest against Macron’s comments defending cartoons of the Prophet
Protesters in Bhopal also joined calls for a boycott of French products that is already underway in some Muslim countries
Pakistani journalists hold placards with the name of Mohammed on them as they demonstrate in Karachi, Pakistan
Muslims demonstrators burn posters of Emmanel Macron during a protest in Quetta, Pakistan, on Thursday
TERROR IN FRANCE: HOW ATTACKS HAVE UNFOLDED OVER FIVE YEARS
An attacker with a knife killed three people and wounded several others at a church in Nice on Thursday, police said.
The terror attack took place less than two weeks after the beheading of middle school teacher Samuel Paty by a man of Chechen origin.
Paty’s attacker said he wanted to punish him for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson.
Here are other attacks that have taken place in France over the past few years:
Sept 25, 2020 – Two people are stabbed and wounded in Paris near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, where Islamist militants carried out a deadly attack in 2015. A man originally from Pakistan was arrested
Oct. 3, 2019 – Mickael Harpon, a 45-year-old IT specialist with security clearance to work in the Paris police headquarters, killed three police officers and one civilian employee before being shot dead by police. He had converted to Islam about 10 years earlier.
March 23, 2018 – A gunman kills three people in southwestern France after holding up a car, firing on police and taking hostages in a supermarket, screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’. Security forces storm the building and kill him.
July 26, 2016 – Two attackers kill a priest and seriously wound another hostage in a church in northern France before being shot dead by French police. Francois Hollande, who was France’s president at the time, says the two hostage-takers had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
July 14, 2016 – A gunman drives a heavy truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing 86 people and injuring scores more in an attack claimed by Islamic State. The attacker is identified as a Tunisian-born Frenchman.
June 14, 2016 – A Frenchman of Moroccan origin stabs a police commander to death outside his home in a Paris suburb and kills his partner, who also worked for the police. The attacker told police negotiators during a siege that he was answering an appeal by Islamic State.
Nov. 13, 2015 – Paris is rocked by multiple, near simultaneous gun-and-bomb attacks on entertainment sites around the city, in which 130 people are killed and 368 are wounded. Islamic State says it was responsible for the attacks. Two of the 10 known perpetrators were Belgian citizens and three others were French.
Jan. 7-9, 2015 – Two Islamist militants break into an editorial meeting of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 and rake it with bullets, killing 12 people. Another militant kills a policewoman the next day and takes hostages at a supermarket on Jan. 9, killing four before police shoot him dead.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Hero father pulls family-of-SIX including two children to safety from the sea off Gwithian, Cornwall
A hero father pulled a family of six including two children to safety and gave life-saving CPR after they were swept out to sea off Cornwall.
Kevin Viles, 44, was walking near Godrevy Point, Gwithian, on Tuesday afternoon when a whole family got into trouble off the coast.
The group has been standing on rocks when six of them were swamped by large waves and ended up in the water.
Mr Viles dramatically intervened by pulling all of them out and resuscitating one woman before emergency services arrived.
Kevin Viles, 44, (crouching in the cap) was walking near Godrevy Point, Gwithian, on Tuesday afternoon when a whole family got into trouble off the coast. He is pictured with his family, including his partner, Lisa. His children are Kaitlin, 16, (top right) and Fletcher, 9 (left – in blue)
An RNLI lifeboat, ambulances, coastguard rescue teams, and the Cornwall Air Ambulance attended the scene.
Mr Viles, a businessman from Blackwater, said the ordeal was ‘the worst thing he’s lived through’ as he was convinced that some of the group would die.
He said: ‘We were walking the dog and walked there to see the lighthouse because my son is doing a school project about lighthouses.
‘We were taking videos when my partner Lisa ran up to me saying: ‘There are people in the water’.
‘There were about six people out in different depths, two men in the shore who looked like they were drowning.
‘There were two children, about six and eight years old, a boy and a girl.
‘They were being tossed around in the waves. I can’t really remember how I dragged them up. None of them had any energy.’
While Mr Viles was attempting to save the family, his partner Lisa, 37, alerted the coastguard at around 2.45pm.
The couple said one girl, aged roughly 12, was vomiting and collapsed afterwards.
Mr Viles said: ‘I was passing them to my family and my family was helping them up the steps.
‘A woman washed in, face down. The men wanted to help, but they were helpless, they were exhausted.
‘It felt like she was gone. We had waves crashing over us still. I tried to give her CPR but her jaw was locked.
‘Someone gave her chest compressions while I was trying to wake her up. She breathed a little bit.
‘We had to carry her up. She was the last one to come up. We put coats onto them and the emergency services started to arrive.’
Mr Viles – seen with his partner, Lisa – dramatically intervened by pulling all six of them out and resuscitating one woman before emergency services arrived
Mr Viles’s children Kaitlin, 16, and Fletcher, 9, consoled the youngsters who had just been rescued.
While he estimated it took about 20 minutes for the emergency services to arrive, Mr Viles said it felt ‘like a lifetime’.
Mr Viles said: ‘It was just crazy. It is unbelievable that they are still alive. It was a miracle. I saw people who were dead as far as I’m concerned.
‘It’s been pretty crazy. I’m a bit shocked by it all. A couple of minutes before I was eating an ice cream. It was the worst thing I’ve ever lived.’
All of the people who fell into the sea were pulled out of the water.
Some were later passed into the care of the ambulance service and taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital.
Mr Viles has since received messages of thanks from the family and the emergency services.
But he said he was disappointed by some ‘shocking’ comments about the family on social media.
Mr Viles said: ‘People were saying how ‘stupid’ they are. They were on holiday from London so none of them had any experience.
‘They’re just really good people. The two dads were incredible.’
HM Coastguard said nine people ended up in the water in total.
An RNLI lifeboat, ambulances, coastguard rescue teams, and the Cornwall Air Ambulance attended the scene
A spokesman for the coastguard said: ‘At 2.45pm on October 28, HM Coastguard received a report of multiple people, confirmed to be nine in total (adults and children), in potential difficulty in the sea water at Godrevy, on the eastern side of St Ives Bay, Cornwall.
‘The St Ives RNLI ALB, the HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter from Newquay and the Portreath Coastguard Rescue Team; along with the South Western Ambulance Service, attended the scene.
‘Lifeguards from Gwithian also assisted in the search and rescue response.
‘All persons were safely recovered, with assistance from a member of the public; and some were later passed into the care of the ambulance service for onward care to the Royal Cornwall Hospital, via air ambulance, land ambulance and coastguard helicopter.’
A South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust spokesman added: ‘We were called at 2.53pm about an incident in the area of Godrevy, Hayle.
‘We were told six people had been in the water. We assessed all patients, discharged four of them and transported the other two to hospital by land.’
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
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