Three people have been killed in a knife attack at a church in the French city of Nice, police say.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said there had been a “terrorist attack at the heart of the Notre-Dame basilica”.

One elderly victim who had come to pray was “virtually beheaded”. A suspect was shot and detained shortly afterwards.

Mr Estrosi spoke of “Islamo-fascism” and said the suspect had “repeated endlessly ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest)”.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in the southern city and is meeting police officers at the scene of today’s attack. Anti-terror prosecutors have opened a murder inquiry and France raised its national security alert system to its highest level.

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