French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Friday said that more attacks are likely in the country as it is fighting a war against Islamist extremism, Reuters reported.
“We are in a war against an enemy that is both inside and outside,” Darmanin told French radio network RTL, according to the news agency. “We need to understand that there have been and there will be other events such as these terrible attacks.”
Darmanin noted the frequency with which terror attacks took place in France in the last few weeks and said that “this has not happened since 2015”, Xinhua reported.
The minister’s remarks came a day after a knife-wielding attacker killed three people at a church in Nice city. There has also been unrest in the country after the beheading of a teacher near Paris earlier this month. The teacher had showed caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in class before the attack.
Following this, French President Emmanuel Macron had vowed a crackdown on “Islamic extremism”, according to AFP. His response to the attacks has been criticised by Muslim leaders, including Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
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Macron had on Thursday called for unity in fighting against violence and said that France would not give in to terrorism, CNN reported.
“Very clearly France is under attack,” Macron said after a visit to Nice. He added that the country must not give into the “spirit of division,” the French President added.
The knife attack in Nice is the third such attack in the country since a trial began in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack. The assailant was wounded and hospitalised following the attack, which took place less than a kilometre away from a site in 2016 where another attacker drove a 25-tonne truck into a crowd, killing at least 84 people.
In September, at least two people were injured in a knife attack near the former office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Twelve people, including eight employees of the magazine, were killed on January 7, 2015, when brothers Said and Cherie Kouachi stormed Charlie Hebdo’s Paris headquarters. Al-Qaeda’s branch in the Arabian Peninsula had claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it was revenge for the cartoons the magazine had published of Prophet Mohammed.