'Tell my children I love them': Final words of mum killed in Nice terror attack

A mum-of-three who staggered into a burger bar after yesterday’s knife attack in Nice told medics ‘tell my children I love them’ right before she died.

Brazilian-born Simone Barreto Silva, 44, was one of three worshippers murdered during yesterday morning’s Mass at the Notre Dame basilica.

She had lived in France for 30 years and had three children. Brazilian reports say she had three sons, but photos on her Facebook profile show her with two boys and a girl.

According to local reports her final words were ‘tell my children I love them’ as paramedics rushed to the scene, where two people were decapitated and several others were injured.

Also among the dead is dad-of-two Vincent Loquès, 54, and a 70-year-old woman who was murdered while praying near the font during the 10am ceremony.

Police have identified the suspect as 21-year-old Tunisian Brahim Aoussaoui who had arrived in Europe on a migrant boat last month, having been processed through the Italian Red Cross.

He repeatedly shouted ‘Allahu akbar’, meaning ‘God is greatest’ in Arabic, even after he was shot by police, detained and treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital.

Yesterday saw France hit by three separate knife attacks in the space of just a few hours.

At around 11.15am, a knifeman was shot dead by police in the Montfavet district of Avignon, in southeastern France.

The shouter also shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he threatened passers-by and police with a blade, according to reports.

At around a similar time, a man was arrested in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for attacking a guard with a ‘sharp tool’ outside the French embassy.

Just hours later, police managed to stop a fourth knife attack near a church in a north-western suburb of Paris at about midday.

After visiting Nice yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron said: ‘If we are attacked once again it is for the values which are ours: freedom, for the possibility on our soil to believe freely and not to give in to any spirit of terror.

‘I say it with great clarity once again today: we won’t surrender anything.’

Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi 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 country.’

It is not known whether all of yesterday’s attacks were connected.

France is still reeling from the beheading of 47-year-old Samuel Paty in a suburb of Paris on October 16.

It is thought the attack was punishment after the history teacher showed students controversial cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as part of a discussion on free speech.

The following day, French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters: ‘One of our fellow citizens was assassinated today because he was teaching, he was teaching pupils about freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe.

‘Our compatriot was cowardly attacked, was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack.’

He later said France would not ‘renounce the caricatures’ and cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad from French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were projected onto government buildings last week.

The act sparked anger across the Islamic world, with thousands of Muslims calling for a boycott of French products.

Depictions and images of the Prohpet Muhammad are forbidden under Islam.

In late September, an assailant with a meat cleaver injured two journalists taking a cigarette break outside the former Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo.

The suspect reportedly told police he was deliberately targeting the magazine, which was the victim of a terrorist attack in 2015 in which 12 people were killed as revenge for publishing cartoons of the Prophet.

However the reporters injured last month worked for a different news agency and Charlie Hebdo has been operating from a secret location ever since the massacre.

The magazine recently reprinted the cartoon to mark the start of the alleged terrorists’ trial.

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