At least 84 died in Nice After Truck Hit Bastille’s Day Celebration Spectators


Time: 7:43 a.m. CEST Update: 12:44 p.m. CEST

According to French media, the 31-year-old male suspected of ramming a truck through a crowd Thursday evening in Nice, killing at least 80, has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Frenchman of Tunisian descent. Local outlet Nice-Matin reported that Bouhlel was a delivery driver who has previous misdemeanor convictions.

French prosecutor Francois Molins revealed the attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was born on January 3, 1985 in Tunisia, but was domicile in Nice. The police has detained Bouhlel’s ex-wife on Friday. He had records for threats, violence and petty theft between 2010 and 2016, but he had not record for the radicalization. Francois Molins said, “No group had admitted carrying out the attack but that it bore the hallmarks of jihadi terrorism.”

Local media in France are reporting that the driver of the truck was a local man, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. His apartment was searched this morning, in Nice, the reports say. Two French police officials say identity papers found along the attacker behind a killing spree in southeastern Nice belonged to a 31-year-old Frenchman of Tunisian descent with earlier misdemeanor convictions but no known link to extremist groups, the Washington Post published.

This picture has been circulated by several news organizations, featuring Bouhlel.

It first surfaced online via news outlet, @News_Executive

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said Friday that the papers were those of Nice resident. They cautioned that DNA and identity checks with acquaintances were pending to fully verify the identity.

The suspect died in a shootout with police after mowing down dozens of people with a truck on Nice’s seaside Promenade des Anglais during national Bastille Day revelry Thursday. The Paris prosecutor’s office, which is leading the investigation, declined to comment.

Local Nice-Matin set up a Facebook page for relatives of those missing, injured or killed in the attack, BBC News reports.

Warning: Graphic video

French President Francois Holland said Friday, people caught up in the attack will carry trauma through their lives because of what they have seen, even if they’re not physically injured.

He said all of France should share the emotion and solidarity with the victims and their families and their loved ones. President Francois Hollande says 50 people injured in the Bastille day attack in Nice are now “between life and death” – in addition to the 84 known to have died.

A Bastille Day fireworks celebration ended in Nice with many death and mayhem on Thursday night, when a large truck barreled for more than a mile through an enormous crowd of spectators, crushing and maiming dozens in what France’s president called a terrorist assault, the New York Times reports.

The attack happens, eight months after the November 13, Paris attacks that traumatized the nation and all of Europe.

Officials and witnesses in Nice said at least 80 people, including 10 children, were killed by the driver of the rampaging truck, who mowed them down on the sidewalk. He was shot to death by the police as officers scrambled to respond on what is France’s most important annual holiday. In the attack, 202 were injured, 52 remain in critical condition, 25 are in intensive care.

Graphic television and video images showed the truck accelerating and tearing through the crowd, dozens of victims sprawled in its path, and the bullet-riddled windshield of the vehicle. Municipal officials and police officers described the truck as full of weapons and grenades.

“The horror, the horror has, once again, hit France,” President François Hollande said in a nationally televised address early Friday.
He said the “terrorist character” of the assault was undeniable, and he described the use of a large truck to deliberately kill people as “a monstrosity.”

President Barack Obama condemned the attack. “I have directed my team to be in touch with French officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack,” the president said in a statement published on the White House website.

President Barack Obama on Friday ordered flags at the White House and other US government buildings to be flown at half-mast to honour victims of the attack in Nice.

Meanwhile, French news agency AFP is reporting that President Hollande has had telephone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the UK’s new Prime Minister Theresa May and President Obama.

European Union foreign ministers will discuss the fight against terrorism at talks in Brussels on Monday, following a request from France.

On social media, the news about the attack and the reactions are under hashtag Nice, PrayforNice, JesouisNice. For live updates, more information on LeMonde.fr.

Key moments:

  • At least 84 people are dead, including many children, the interior ministry says
  • A further 18 people are in a critical condition in hospital
  • The driver of the lorry was shot dead by police
  • French media reports say he has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who lived locally
  • France has declared three days of national mourning, beginning on Saturday
Note: Considering the seriousness of the attack, I decide not to publish photos or links from social media related to the casualties, covered bodies or immediate aftermath photographs and videos.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s