Three French soldiers were injured in a terror attack in the city of Nice on Tuesday afternoon while guarding a Jewish Community Center. The center housed a local Jewish radio station, Radio Shalom, and the Israeli association.
Two of the three soldiers suffered light injuries and were treated on location, while the third was taken to a nearby hospital. One officer was said to have been injured in the chin, another in the forearm and the third in the cheek.
All three soldiers were serving with the 54th Artillery Regiment at Hyeres and were armed with automatic rifles.
According to early police reports, the soldiers were conducting an anti-terror patrol near the Jewish area of town and were attacked by a man wielding a knife. The attacker was apprehended, but not before stabbing three soldiers. Two of the attacker’s accomplices reportedly fled the scene.
The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said that the attacker carried an identity card with the name Moussa Coulibaly, the same last name as terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, who is responsible for the terror attack at a Paris Kosher supermarket that left four Jewish men dead.
Police are currently investigating a link between the two men, who both hail from Mali, where the name is quite common.
For the past month, France has been on high alert, mobilizing more than 10,000 soldiers to protect sensitive areas including shopping malls, synagogues, mosques and major transit centers. Specific attention is being paid to Jewish schools, Israeli embassies and other Jewish locations following last month’s attacks.
France is stepping up security across the board, arresting suspected terrorists and people who have shown an interest in joining ISIS and other terror groups abroad.
Earlier on Tuesday police, together with French authorities, arrested eight people on suspicion that they were part of a network that sends French citizens to Syria to fight and train with Islamic extremist organization.
France has seen hundreds of French radicals join extremist Islamist movements abroad, many of which are associated with ISIS.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that the recent atrocities committed by ISIS, including the killing of a Japanese hostage and the burning of a Jordanian pilot, “only strengthen the [French] government’s determination to fight terrorism every day.”