A judicial spokesman said on Thursday that Tunisia's counterterrorism agency has opened an investigation into the suspected involvement of a Tunisian in the attack in Nice, France.

Mohsen El-Daly told Reuters: "The judicial authority for combating terrorism has opened a forensic investigation into the suspicion of a Tunisian involvement in the Nice terrorist attack."

Earlier on Thursday morning, the attacker beheaded an elderly woman and killed two other people in the Notre Dame church in the city in the "Riviera" in southern France.

And identical sources reported that the attacker was a 21-year-old Tunisian, who arrived in Europe from the Italian island of "Lampedusa" at the end of last month, and then from there to France at the beginning of this month.

Judicial sources told the French Press Agency that the identity of the assailant was not officially confirmed, but - according to a source close to the file - Ibrahim Awassawi was named, which was confirmed by a second source.

The attacker arrived in France from the island of "Lampedusa" in Italy (130 km from the Tunisian coast), where the local authorities required him to quarantine, before he was forced to leave Italian territory and be released.

According to another source, the investigators had nothing in their possession except for a file belonging to the Italian Red Cross, indicating that his name was Ibrahim Awassawi.

Italy said last September that the number of irregular migrants who arrived last year on boats that crossed the Mediterranean - often to the small island of Lampedusa - had increased by half.

It is noteworthy that the last major attack in Nice was also carried out by a Tunisian who had immigrated to France in 2005, and drove a truck in the midst of a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in 2016, which resulted in the deaths of 86 people at that time.