* France at war with Islamist ideology - minister
* Country on high security alert after Nice church attack
* Thousands of Muslims protest in Bangladesh
* Macron says he will not give ground on freedoms
PARIS/NICE, France, Oct 30 (Reuters) - France's interior
minister said on Friday more militant attacks on its soil were
likely and the country was engaged in a war against Islamist
ideology following the second deadly knife attack in its cities
in two weeks.
Minister Gerald Damarnin was speaking a day after an
assailant shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) beheaded a
woman and killed two other people in a church in Nice.
The man was shot by police and is now in critical condition
in a hospital.
"We are in a war against an enemy that is both inside and
outside," Damarnin told RTL radio. "We need to understand that
there have been and there will be other events such as these
President Emmanuel Macron has deployed thousands of soldiers
to protect important sites such as places of worship and
schools, and France's security alert is at its highest level.
Thursday's attack, on the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad,
took place at a time of swelling Muslim anger across the globe
at France's defence of the right to publish cartoons depicting
the prophet. Protesters who deem the cartoons an insult to the
Prophet Mohammad have denounced France in street rallies in
several Muslim-majority countries.
Tens of thousands of Muslims protested in Bangladesh on
Friday, chanting slogans such as "Boycott French products" and
carrying banners calling Macron "the world's biggest terrorist"
as they marched in the streets of the capital Dhaka.
SUSPECTED ATTACKER CAME FROM TUNISIA
France's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor said the man
suspected of carrying out the Nice attack was a Tunisian born in
1999 who had arrived in Europe on Sept. 20 in Lampedusa, the
Italian island off Tunisia that is a main landing point for
migrants from Africa.
A Tunisian security source and a French police source named
the suspect as Brahim Aouissaoui.
A judicial source said on Friday that a 47-year-old man had
been taken into custody on Thursday evening on suspicion of
having been in contact with the perpetrator of the attack.
The Nice attack occurred just under two weeks after Samuel
Paty, a school teacher in a Paris suburb, was beheaded by an
18-year-old Chechen who was apparently incensed by the teacher
showing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad in class.
It was also the second miliant attack in Nice in recent
years. In July 2016, a militant drove a truck through a seafront
crowd celebrating Bastille Day, killing 86 people.
People gathered in front of the Notre-Dame church on
Thursday morning to lay flowers and light candles. Frederic
Lefevre attached heart-shaped balloons to the church gate.
"I knew him very well, the person who was killed in the
church. It's really a tragedy," said Lefevre, 50, who was
wearing a French national rugby shirt.
"I'm from Nice and this is a tragedy once again. We're a
free country. Let's love freedom - that's a message to the
world. Life should be spiritual. No god should kill," he said.
Another Nice resident, Marc Mercier, 71, said: "It took
place in the day to people who weren't asking for it. It's
"It's been years that we've been saying that fear should
shift to the other side (attackers), but it's still the same."
Speaking outside the church on Thursday, Macron said France
had been attacked "over our values, for our taste for freedom,
for the ability on our soil to have freedom of belief...And I
say it with great clarity again today: We will not give any
At the protest in Dhaka, however, demonstrators accused
Macron of promoting Islamophobia.
"He doesn't know the power of Islam. The Muslim world will
not let this go in vain. We'll rise and stand in solidarity
against him," said one, Akramul Haq.
PREVIOUS FRENCH ATTACKS
French prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said the suspected
attacker had entered Nice by train early on Thursday morning and
made his way to the church, where he stabbed and killed the
55-year-old sexton and beheaded a 60-year-old woman.
He also stabbed a 44-year-old woman, who fled to a nearby
cafe where she raised the alarm before dying, Ricard said.
Police then arrived and confronted the attacker, who was still
shouting "Allahu Akbar", and shot and wounded him.
Tunisia said the man was not listed by police there as a
suspected militant and authorities have begun their own
France, with Europe's largest Muslim community, has suffered
a string of Islamist militant attacks in recent years, including
bombings and shootings in 2015 in Paris that killed 130 people
and the 2016 attack in Nice.
(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Angus MacSwan)