French Authorities Identify Perpetrator of Nice Attack

EU | July 15, 2016, Friday // 15:00|  views

Crime scene investigators work on the `Promenade des Anglais` after the truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France, 15 July 2016. Photo: EPA

The perpetrator of Thursday's attack in Nice, which claimed the lives of at least 84 people and left more than fifty other injured, has been identified as 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel of French-Tunisian origin.

Bouhlel's identity documents were found in the lorry which rammed into the crowds celebrating the national holiday of France – Bastille Day. The attack occurred on the popular Promenade des Anglais during the traditional fireworks.

The driver swerved the vehicle, which was loaded with guns and grenades, from side to side to hit as many people as possible.  He drove through the crowd for two kilometres before being shot dead by security forces.

Authorities have established that Bouhlel was born in Nice to Tunisian parents, had a residence permit and lived locally. He was married and had three children.

He was not very religious and according to his neighbours did not fully observe Ramadan. He was known to police for minor criminal offences, but had not been linked to jihadist groups.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which has been classified by authorities as being of "terrorist nature".

Three days of national mourning have been declared in France starting from Saturday. The state of emergency, which has been in force since last year's November 13 attacks in Paris, has been extended d for another three months.

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Tags: France, Nice, Bastille Day, Paris, attack


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