A 47-year-old man has been detained as part of an ongoing probe into a deadly attack at a church in Nice, France. He is believed to have been in contact with the assailant before he carried out the stabbings, local media reported.

On Thursday, three people were killed by a knife-wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar” at a church in the French city. The alleged attacker was identified as a 21-year-old Tunisian migrant who had recently entered the country from Italy. He was shot by police and is currently in serious condition.

BFM TV, citing police sources, said that the man taken into custody had been in contact with the suspect a day before he carried out the killings.

Police recovered several blades, a bag, two cell phones and a copy of the Koran from the crime scene. The French government linked the stabbing spree to “Islamic terrorism” and raised the country’s terror alert system to the maximum level.

The attack was followed by a string of similar incidents across France later on Thursday, including in Lyon and Sartrouville, as well as outside a French consulate office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. However, the assailants were apprehended before they were able to claim any victims.

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