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LIVE BLOG: Bastille Day attack in Nice

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LIVE BLOG: Bastille Day attack in Nice
Middle East Eye brings you the latest in the aftermath of Thursday night's deadly lorry attack

What we know so far:

  • Suspect identified as French-Tunisian Mohammed Bouhlel
  • At least 84 people killed and more than 100 injured when a lorry ploughed through crowds on Nice seafront for 2 kilometres
  • Identity papers belonging to 31-year-old French-Tunisian discovered in cab of lorry
  • French President Francois Hollande has said the attack was of an "undeniably terrorist nature"
  • State of emergency has been extended for a further three months
  • Counter-terrorism police are investigating after the third major attack to hit France in less than 18 months

Live Updates

7 years ago

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Friday that the man behind the Nice truck attack is a "terrorist" linked in some way to hardline religious ideology.

"He's a terrorist who is probably linked to radical Islam in one way or another," Valls told French television the day after 84 people were killed at a Bastille Day fireworks display in the French Riviera city.

Valls also said the military resources of the international coalition battling the Islamic State (IS) group would be boosted in the wake of the attack.

"Next week there will be a big meeting" in Washington, Valls told France Television.

"We are going to reinforce the coalition's reosurces" to fight against IS in Syria and Iraq, he added.

7 years ago

President Barack Obama called his French counterpart Francois Hollande Friday and ordered flags be flown at half-staff in a show of solidarity following the Nice attacks.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House had offered the French authorities "any assistance that they need to conduct their investigation."

Obama has described the truck attack that killed at least 84 people as a "horrific terrorist attack."

"We'll be offering our strongest support to the people of France in this very difficult time," said Earnest.

Amid uncertainty about the perpetrator's motives, the White House said "there's still much more that needs to be learned about this particular situation."

7 years ago

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has suggested testing all US Muslims to see if they believe in Sharia law, and deporting those who do, according to a report on BBC.

Gingrich's comments came shortly after the attack in Nice.

His comments echo the sentiment held by likely US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has said Muslims should be banned from entering the US.

"Western civilisation is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background and if they believe in Sharia they should be deported," Gingrich told Fox News.

"Sharia is incompatible with western civilisation. Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia, glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door," he added.

7 years ago

Europe's main stock markets ended the week on pause Friday, with downbeat sentiment over the deadly Nice truck attack offsetting Wall Street records and positive Chinese data.

Airline stocks slid. Accor Hotels led losers on the Paris market in shedding three percent as the French tourism industry fretted at the latest in a slew of recent attacks while transport firms and luxury goods makers also fell back.

Overall, the Paris market closed the session off 0.3 percent at 4,372.51 points.

7 years ago

Tunisian authorities are in close contact with French authorities and have setup a 'crisis-cell' to coordinate its investigations into the Nice Attacks. According to the Tunisian State News Agency the Tunisian consul-general said:

"The Crisis cell will coordinate with French authorities to have access to official information about the circumstances of the attacks and the nationality of victims"

7 years ago

(Source MEE)

7 years ago

“After about 1am this morning we began working and activated an anti-terrorist unit in Paris,” the prosecutor continues. “Four magistrates were deployed to Nice and have been working tirelessly since.”

He says that investigators “looked at attempts of assassinations and any links to terrorist operations. We looked at organized groups and any links to terrorist groups”.

He then outlines more details of the attack, saying that the attacker rented the truck on 11 July, and that it “should have been returned on the 13th of July”.

He drove about 2km down the promenade, and fired repeatedly at three policemen when they confronted him near a hotel. Gun shots were exchanged but the truck continued for 300m – the police “eventually found the driver dead in the passenger seat”, the prosecutor says.

In the cabin was one automatic firearm, a charger, bullets, as well as a second automatic weapon. There were also two Kalashnikovs and M16s, also firearms, one grenade, one mobile telephone, and various documents which are still being examined. We also found a driver’s card and and a card under the name”

He was born on 3 January 1975 in Tunis with residence in Nice, he says. The gunman was “a chaffeur and deliveryman”. “His ex-wife was detained at 11am this morning.”

7 years ago

A Saudi-funded mosque in Nice which opened its doors this year, released a statement condemning the Nice Attacks: 

"The evening of the 14th July is a national day and now bereaved by a criminal blind attack in Nice, a truck has driven into the crowd to murder more and more. More than 70 people have been killed and 100 injured.

The Ennour mosque condemns strongly this attack and calls for unity in this hard event touching once again all the national community.

All our thoughts and condolences to the families and the relatives of the victims, without forgetting a member of the association Ennour who lost his mummy in this terrible attack"

MEE reported the story when the mosque opened its doors for the first time this year, after battling with the local town hall for 15 years to have it open. 

7 years ago

Moustaffah was at the firework's last night. Today he returned to pay respect to his mother's friend, a Muslim woman who was killed in the attack. This is a short interview with Buzzfeed journalist Ryan Broderick. 

7 years ago

Parts of the usually packed Nice promenade, where the attack happened last night, have been cordoned off with white barriers. 

7 years ago

The cousin of Nice attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel has claimed that he 31-year-old drank alcohol, ate pork, took drugs, never went to mosque and did not observe Ramadan.

His cousin, who was not named, told The Daily Mail that Bouhlel was “not a Muslim” and was an “unlikely jihadist”.

He said his cousin beat his wife, with whom he has three children, and was in the process of getting divorced.

“He was not a Muslim, he was a s***. He beat his wife, my cousin, he was a nasty piece of work,” the cousin said. 

7 years ago

French police have taken in the ex-wife of the Nice attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel for questioning over his possible links to the Islamic State group. Bouhlel had been in trouble with the law repeatedly but was not on any terrorism watchlist. 

He has been described as a "weird loner" who "became depressed" when his wife left him. 

Investigators said they are seeking to establish Bouhlel's motives and looking into possible accomplices.

7 years ago

Police have released the passport of Nice attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel. French newspaper Republican Lorraine said that the 31-year-old's passport was found at the scene of the attack.

7 years ago

Interpol says it has sent a team, made up of terrorism, information and identification specialists, to probe and monitor the situation and carry out real-time checks against its global databases.

The France-based international police organisation said it would also help to identify the remains of the 84 people who have been killed.