French President Emmanuel Macron has said his country is "under attack" from Islamic terrorists.
Suspected terror incidents rocked communities across France on Thursday with alleged attacks taking place in Nice, Avignon and Lyon as well as at the French Consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia.
It comes after a woman was beheaded and two others killed in an attack inside the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice on Thursday morning.
A man who was armed with a knife and tried to attack police officers as he shouted "Allah Akbar" was also shot dead in Avignon just hours later, although it is unclear if the attacks are related.
In another incident a man allegedly brandishing a knife with a 30cm blade has been arrested in Lyon, while another man has also been arrested after he stabbed a guard at the French Consulate in Jiddah.
It is not currently known if the attacks are connected.
President Macron halted parliament's planned coronavirus lockdown debate to head to the southern city following the incident.
He has declared a state of emergency across France following the attacks.
Speaking to reporters following the incidents, Mr Macron said: "If we are attacked it is because of our values, our values of freedom and our desire not to yield to terror."
The French president added he wanted to "express the support of France" towards the Catholic community.
Macron added that he would be stepping up the deployment of soldiers to protect key French sites, such as places of worship and schools.
French authorities will now more than double the number of soldiers deployed to protect against attacks to 7,000.
The suspected attacker was shot by police and taken to hospital, Nice's mayor said on Thursday morning.
The suspect in the attack was heard to repeatedly shout "Allahu Akbar" as police restrained him, mayor Christian Estrosi claimed