A gunman armed with two shotguns and a knife has been arrested in Cannes an hour after plans were made for 300 soldiers to be deployed onto streets in France to combat “copy-cat” incidents after three attacks in three days left one person dead and around 30 wounded.
The man was detained yesterday after he was spotted “armed to the teeth” with two pump-action shotguns and a 25cm knife walking through Forville market.
The day before, a different man crashed a van into a crowded Christmas market in Nantes and injured 11 pedestrians. One of the victims, a 25-year-old man, died from his injuries. The accused is currently being detained and questioned by police.
The incident came a day after another man, who is said by Sky News to have been hospitalised for mental health issues 157 times, reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (meaning “God is greatest”) and injured 13 people in a similar attack in the eastern city of Dijon.
France street attacks
France street attacks
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French soldiers patrol the Parvis des Droits de l'Homme (Human Rights Square) in Paris, France following the attack in Nantes
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A rescue worker directs a fire brigade vehicle after a van crashed into a French Christmas market in Nantes
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French police investigators work near a van which was driven into a crowd, injuring ten people, including five seriously wounded, according to French media, in Nantes
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Police patrol Nantes market a day after the attack
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A partial view of the interior of the van a driver used to plough into a Christmas market in the western French city of Nantes
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French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (centre right) and former Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (centre) inspect the van a driver used to plough into a Christmas market in the western French city of Nantes
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French soldiers patrol the Christmas market along the Champs Elysées in Paris as security forces step up protection of public places following acts of violence in Nantes, Dijon and Tours
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Police officers and members of a rescue team stand near the Christmas market in Nantes after a man drove a van into the crowd
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Eleven people were hurt, five seriously, when a van drove into a Christmas market in France
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A bomb disposal unit inpects the van a driver used to plough into a Christmas market in Nantes
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Eleven people were injured in the attack on the streets of the city of Dijon
On Saturday, another attacker, also reported to have yelled “Allahu Akbar”, was shot after stabbing three police officers in central France.
Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the Nantes attack, after searches unearthed what they called a written “religious testament” in which the suspect claimed that he used the Arabic word for God (Allah) to give him “strength”.
Authorities are not treating the other two other incidents as acts of terrorism as both are said to have been suffering from serious mental health problems.
“What we are seeing with events in Dijon and Nantes is that they are creating copy-cat reactions,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after ordering the deployment of the extra security forces in addition to the existing 780 in main pedestrian and shopping areas such as Paris’ Champs-Elysees avenue.
Valls added that France had “never before faced such a high threat linked to terrorism”.Reuse content