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Nice church attack and teacher’s beheading are linked: prosecutors

Paris: The man suspected of knifing to death three people in a church in the French city of Nice had on his telephone pictures of the man who beheaded a middle school teacher near Paris 13 days earlier, prosecutors have revealed.

The discovery of the photos on the phone of 21-year-old Tunisian Brahim al-Aouissaoui, who was shot and wounded by police in the October 29 attack, could indicate a common motive behind the two attacks.

Police officers stand guard near Notre Dame church in Nice after an attacker beheaded a woman and killed two others.

Police officers stand guard near Notre Dame church in Nice after an attacker beheaded a woman and killed two others.Credit:AP

Anti-terrorist prosecutors said in a media statement that an examination of Aouissaoui’s mobile phone had also revealed images linked to the Islamic State group. The prosecutors did not say what they were or how they were linked to the group.

The middle school teacher, Samuel Paty, was killed by a young man of Chechen origin who, before the attack, recorded a message saying he wanted to punish Paty for showing pupils caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics class. That attacker, partially identified by prosecutors as Abdoulakh A., was shot dead.

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