Police shot dead an assailant who threatened officers and members of the public with a knife just hours after a similar incident in Nice left three people dead
The incident occurred just hours after three people were killed at the Notre Dame basilica in Nice on Thursday morning.
Local police in Avignon confirmed they opened fire after attacker threatened passersby with a knife.
Police were also reportedly threatened in the incident. It is unclear if the Avignon and Nice attacks are related.
France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of French middle school teacher Samuel Paty by a man of Chechen origin.
The attacker had said he wanted to punish Paty for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson.
It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the Nice attack, or if there was any connection to the cartoons, which Muslims consider to be blasphemous.
Since Paty’s killing, French officials – backed by many ordinary citizens – have re-asserted the right to display the cartoons, and the images have been widely displayed at marches in solidarity with the killed teacher.
That has prompted an outpouring of anger in parts of the Muslim world, with some governments accusing French leader Emmanuel Macron of pursuing an anti-Islam agenda.
At least two people were beheaded inside the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice at around 9am just as morning service started, with several others injured.
Police are understood to have shot the alleged perpetrator who shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he was arrested and taken to hospital.
Two victims – a man and a woman – had been decapitated, it has been confirmed. “Both victims were beheaded,” said the police spokesman, pointing to “a terrorist attack”.
It was also confirmed that one of the deceased was a church warden.