Nice Attack: France truck attacker formally identified, says police source

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The driver of the truck that smashed into a crowd watching fireworks in the French Riviera city of Nice, killing at least 84, has been formally identified, police sources said on Friday.
The man, identified by French police sources as a 31-year-old Franco-Tunisian man, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was not known by the Tunisian authorities to hold radical or Islamist views, the sources said. Other sources said previously he was already known to police for minor criminal offences. The sources did not say when he had last been resident in Tunisia. His identity papers were found in the vehicle after the attack on France’s July 14 national holiday.
Interviews with the attacker’s neighbours revealed information about Bouhlel’s character who was married with three children.
His neighbours portrayed him as a solitary figure who rarely spoke and did not even return greetings when their paths crossed in the four-storey block, located in a working-class neighbourhood of Nice. Sebastien, a neighbour who spoke on condition that his full name was not used, said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel did not seem overtly religious, often dressed in shorts and sometimes wore work boots.
He had a van parked nearby and owned a bike, which he brought up into his first-floor apartment. Of those who were interviewed, only one, a neighbour on the ground floor, said she had had any concerns about him – he was “a good-looking man who kept giving my two daughters the eye.” Police investigators and forensic experts entered his apartment around 9.30 am local time with an armed police intervention unit in support, and brought out bags of material later.
At least 84 people were killed when the white 19-tonne truck slammed into the crowd on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice’s glitzy beachfront, as they gathered to watch a firework display on France’s national day.
A source close to the investigation said an “inactive” grenade was found inside the vehicle, as well as “several fake rifles.”
President Francois Hollande has declared the attack was of “an undeniable terrorist nature.” “Investigations are currently underway to establish if the individual acted alone or if he had accomplices who might have fled,” interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said. Police shot the driver dead after he drove the truck two kilometres through a crowd along the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais.
Brandet also said 84 people were killed and scores injured, including 18 in “ critical condition”.

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