At least two people have died in a knife attack near the Notre-Dame area of Nice, France, it has been reported.

Several others were also reported to be injured. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said he could confirm that everything about the incident suggested a terrorist attack in the Basilica of Notre-Dame.

He stated that the suspected knifeman has now been taken into custody. Videos shared on social media showed armed officers from the French National Police (CRS) at the scene.

A witness told Nice-Matin: ‘My colleagues were smoking downstairs. They hurried upstairs indicating that there was a madman outside.

‘We heard several shots. Six or seven. About 20 of us took refuge in the office. It was very distressing. We saw the police and the CRS enter the church. We moved away from the windows.’

Members of the National Assembly observed a minute’s silence after news of the terror attack broke.

The attack comes just weeks after a school teacher was murdered in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb of Paris, for showing his class  cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Samuel Paty, 47, was attacked and decapitated by Abdullakh Anzorov, 18, as he left the school on October 16. Anzorov was then shot dead by police.

The next day French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the attack an Islamist terrorist attack. He told reporters: ‘One of our fellow citizens was assassinated today because he was teaching, he was teaching pupils about freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe.

‘Our compatriot was cowardly attacked, was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack.’

Macron later added that France would not ‘renounce the caricatures’ of Prophet Muhammad, and the cartoons from French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were projected onto government buildings last week.

The act has sparked anger across the Islamic world, with thousands of Muslims calling for a boycott of French products.

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