A DYING mum told medics “tell my children that I love them” after she was stabbed by a suspected terrorist at a church in France.
The woman, reportedly in her 40s, managed to escape but succumbed to her wounds outside the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Nice, south of France.
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She was among three people who were killed in the brutal attack as the church was preparing to open for mass.
The suspected terrorist – named as Brahim Aoussaoui, a 21-year-old Tunisian, who recently arrived in France – launched the bloody rampage at around 9am.
He is said to have beheaded a parishioner, reportedly a 70-year-old woman, and the slit to the throat of building’s 54-year-old caretaker Vincent Loquès.
The third victim, the mum, was stabbed but managed to escape and take refuge in a nearby bar where she succumbed to her injuries, reports BFMTV.
She reportedly said to the emergency services: “Tell my children that I love them.”
France has seen a day of violence as a gunman reportedly doing a Nazi salute was shot dead by police in Avignon.
And two other suspects have been caught with knives elsewhere in France, while a security guard at the French Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was stabbed.
It comes as anti-France sentiment rages across many Muslim nations amid a furious row over controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said the attacker kept shouting “Allahu Akbar” even after he had been shot and was being loaded into an ambulance.
He said: “Enough is enough. It’s time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory.”
President Emmanuel Macron described his country as “under attack” as he addressed the nation amid the day of bloodshed.
He denounced the Nice bloodbath as an “Islamic terror attack” and defiantly said the nation would not “give up on our values”.
The president announced up to 7,000 soldiers will be deployed to the streets across France in the wake of the violence to protect landmarks, schools and places of worships.
France has now raised its alert status to the highest possible level of “terror attack emergency”.
It has comes amid heightened security fears in France due to the ongoing row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
And the attacks have also happened as Muslims celebrate the holy day Mawlid, which marks the birth of Mohammed.
History teacher Samuel Paty, 47, was beheaded by 18-year-old Abdullah Anzorov on October 17 after using the cartoons to teach his students about the importance of free speech.
France has provoked the ire of nations such as Iran and Turkey as it has taken a tough line in defending the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
History teacher Paty was was posthumously given the Legion d’Honneur – France’s highest award – and Macron insisted the country would “not give up our cartoons”.
Prophet Mohammed cartoons have been displayed in France in solidarity with Paty to defend what many in the country see as its values of free speech and secularism.
Macron has said he would redouble efforts to stop conservative Islamic beliefs subverting French values – which has angered many Muslims.
France has launched a crackdown on what it perceives to be radical Islam, announcing it has searched more than 120 homes and closed down a mosque in Pantin.
Paty is being seen as a champion of free speech by many in France after his brutal death – inspiring the defiant phrase “Je Suis Prof”.
The image he showed to students was the same one published by Charlie Hebdo that sparked the attack on the magazine’s offices that killed 12.
His killing came after a knife attack near the former offices of Charlie Hebdo just weeks prior – in which the suspect is believed to have tried to target the magazine.