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French beheading terror attacks 'disgusting, barbaric' says Morrison

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described a deadly Islamic terror attack in France as disgraceful and disgusting.

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A knife-wielding extremist has beheaded a woman and killed two other people at a church in the city of Nice.

“Sadly this terrible and disgraceful and disgusting attack that has occurred in France has been widely seen and widely reported,” Mr Morrison told 2GB radio on Friday.

“It is just the most callous and cowardly and vicious act of barbarism by a terrorist and should be condemned in the strongest possible way.”

The Prime Minister contacted French President Emmanuel Macron overnight to extend his condolences and say Australia stood with France.

“The heartache that would be going across the French people today as it shudders through the rest of the world is hard to put into words,”  Morrison said.

Most leaders around the world have condemned the attack, which was reportedly carried out by a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant who had recently entered France from Italy.

Morrison distanced himself from inflammatory and highly offensive remarks made by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

“This is a very awful thing that has occurred,” the Prime Minister said.

“Just at a sheer human level, the only response is just to be utterly, utterly devastated by this and to stand with those and the families who are suffering so much.”

Within hours of the Nice attack, police killed a man who threatened passers-by with a handgun near the southern French city of Avignon.

In Saudi Arabia, a man was arrested after attacking and injuring a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the attacks were proof of an escalating terror threat around the world.

“It’s clear that over COVID these people just haven’t gone away,” he told the Nine Network.

“They’re still spreading messages of hate over the internet, indoctrinating young people, even here.”

The minister indicated domestic security agencies had recently executed warrants in relation to terror activity, which have not yet been made public.

“Clearly the threat is still as relevant to us as it has ever been. It’s a major concern and as a western national we’re still well and truly under threat,” Dutton said.

“These people would seek to do us harm in a heartbeat if they could and ASIO and the AFP and the state agencies do a great job.”

-AAP

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