French authorities say the man who drove a tractor-trailer into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the Riviera city of Nice late on July 14, killing at least 84 people before being shot by police as he sprayed the crowd with bullets, was a 31-year-old Frenchman of Tunisian descent.
Police have not released the name of the dead attacker, whose documents were found in the truck, but local newspaper Nice Matin identified him as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel.
He was reportedly a Nice resident who had previous run-ins with police but was not known to intelligence services.
Investigators were working frantically to piece together possible motives for the attack, the third with mass casualties on French soil in the past 18 months.
France declared three days of national mourning as doctors tended to hundreds more people injured when the truck plowed at high speed through celebrants after a fireworks display to mark the French national day.
In a televised address to the nation early on July 15, President Francois Hollande condemned it as a “terrorist” act and a “monstrosity.” He vowed that France “will always be stronger, I promise you, than the fanatics that want to strike it.”
“Nothing will make us yield in our will to fight terrorism,” the French president said.
“We will further strengthen our actions in Iraq and in Syria. We will continue striking those who attack us on our own soil,” he said in an allusion to the militant group Islamic State (IS), whose sympathizers have been blamed for a string of terrorist attacks in France and Belgium in the past two years, including coordinated attacks by multiple gunmen and bombers that killed 130 people in Paris in November.
Full story: rferl.org
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