Saturday 31 October 2020

Mother-of-three, 44, 'died like a warrior' fighting Nice terrorist and raising the alarm about attack after Islamist fanatic beheaded felllow church-goer and fatally stabbed her

 A mother-of -three 'died like a warrior' after fighting off the Nice terrorist and raising the alarm about the attack, her distraught family and friends said last night.

Simone Barreto Silva, a 44-year-old Brazil-born samba dancer turned care worker, managed to escape the Notre Dame Basilica despite being stabbed multiple times.

She fled to a nearby restaurant to seek help but died from her injuries.

Her last words to paramedics were: 'Tell my children that I love them'.

Simone Barreto Silva, a 44-year-old Brazil-born mother of three was one of the victims of an attack on a church in Nice on Thursday. The former samba dancer is pictured here with Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho 

Brahim Jelloule, manager of the Unik café opposite the church, told France Television: 'She crossed the road, covered in blood

'She was still talking, she was saying that there was someone inside (the church). 

Miss Silva has been named as the third victim of Tunisian militant Brahim Aouissaou, who also killed 54-year-old church worker Vincent Loques and beheaded a 60-year-old woman.

Last night Miss Silva's family paid tribute to the dancer, saying her bravery had prevented more deaths.

Her sister Solange Barreto told South American newspaper Correio of Bahia: 'My sister was on her way to work when she passed the church and gave her prayers.

'She fought against the assassin and even when she was wounded manage to leave the church seeking help and warning everyone what had happened until the police arrived.

'With her goodness she avoided a tragedy which could have been even bigger.'

Silva raised the alarm about the attack before dying. Her last words to paramedics were: 'Tell my children that I love them'

Silva raised the alarm about the attack before dying. Her last words to paramedics were: 'Tell my children that I love them' 

Anderson Argolo, a priest who knew Miss Silva's family, told newspaper Folha de S. Paulo: 'She was a fighter, and she died like a warrior. 

Despite being hurt, she ran and was able to sound the alarm, preventing a bigger tragedy.'

Miss Silva had moved to France from Bahia, in northeast Brazil, as a teenager. 

She studied at Nice Sophia Antipolis University before training to become a chef in a hotel.

Jorge Bezerra, a musician friend, said Miss Silva danced samba and had been in shows at Brasil Tropical, a Brazilian cabaret in Paris.

She performed in a quartet with her sisters Solange, who also lives in France, Barbara and Conceicao.

Her friend Ivana Gomes Amorim told G1 that Miss Silva was playful and dreamed of traveling around the world in a food truck.

Last night another friend named Mirian laid flowers outside the scene of Thursday's attack before adding: 'She was such a brave, wonderful person. Her passion for cooking was incredible; we were sharing recipes just days ago.'

In a statement, Brazil's Foreign Ministry said its embassy in Paris was providing assistance to the dead woman's family.

'Brazil expresses its firm repudiation of any and all forms of terrorism, regardless of its motivation, and reaffirms its commitment to work to combat and eradicate this scourge,' it said.

The country's president, Jair Bolsonaro, said: 'She was there praying and this man who hates Christians came in. When we talk about Christianophobia this is what we mean … we have to fight this, and not with flowers.'

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