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Thursday, July 14, 2016

I Saw Bodies Flying Like Bowling Pins In Its Path. Heard Sounds, Howls That I Will Never Forget

'I Saw Bodies Flying Like Bowling Pins In Its Path. Heard Sounds, Howls That I Will Never Forget' World | Sarah Kaplan, The Washington Post | Updated: July 15, 2016 10:09 IST by Taboola Sponsored Links Sponsored •The game that is guaranteed to kill boredom (Sparta Free Online Game) •How This Razor Is Disrupting a $13 Billion Industry (Dollar Shave Club) 'I Saw Bodies Flying Like Bowling Pins In Its Path. Heard Sounds, Howls That I Will Never Forget' Soldiers, police officers and firefighters walk near dead bodies covered with a blue sheets. (AFP Photo) Nice, France: It was a lovely night in Nice, Damien Allemand recalled. Thousands of people thronged the sea-side promenade that skirts the edge of the city, faces tilted upward to watch fireworks explode overhead in honor of France's favorite holiday. Light and music spilled from restaurants, cheers punctuated the bursts of fireworks. Allemand, a reporter for Nice Matin, a local newspaper, was on his way to leave when he heard the crack of gunshots cut through the revelry. A fraction of a second later, a huge white truck went roaring past. It plowed into the crowds, as though it intended to hit as many people as possible. "I saw bodies flying like bowling pins in its path. Heard sounds, howls that I will never forget," Allemand wrote in a post on the website Medium. The "truck of death," as he called it, had passed just several meters from where he stood. For a moment, Allemand was frozen. People streamed past him, screaming, crying. He heard someone yell, "get to shelter." Another pleaded, "where is my son?" Finally, he turned and ran. The attack in the French Riviera city of Nice Thursday night left at least 80 people dead and 18 more critically injured. The driver of the truck mowed down dozens of people and fired on others before being shot down by police, regional president Christian Estrosi said. The bloody attack came at the end of one of France's most important holidays, Bastille Day, which came at the start of the French Revolution 226 years ago. All around the country, people marked the occasion with military parades and fireworks displays. At 10:30 p.m., in a matter of moments, the celebration came to to a sudden, bloody end. Maryam Violet, an Iranian journalist on vacation in Nice, told the Guardian she was part of the crowd watching the fireworks on the Promenade des Anglais. "It was so peaceful. It was a festivity vibe," she said. The show had just ended, and people were beginning to disperse, when the truck came barreling toward them. "You just see this big white . . . truck," said Tony Molina, a witness who spoke to CNN. "I can't see the driver but its just kind of going at different angles, so it's going from left to right, continuing at about 25, 30 miles per hour." "People were fleeing and shouting," Violet said. "People were shouting, 'It's a terrorist attack! It's a terrorist attack!' It was clear that the driver was doing it deliberately." Estrosi, who is a former mayor of Nice and currently president of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, told French TV that the attack was "clearly premeditated." Authorities later found arms and explosives inside the truck. The crowd, which contained both tourists and Nice natives, fled onto side streets and into restaurants. Videos taken from the scene showed terrified people screaming in a mix of languages. Allemand, the journalist, said that he took cover in a nearby restaurant and waited for the volley of gunshots to end. When he emerged, the promenade was empty, he wrote: "No noise. Not a siren. No cars." He walked back toward the spot where the truck had come to rest. The windshield was riddled with bullets. Nearby, a man was crying. "The dead are everywhere," the man said. "He was right," Allemand wrote. "Just behind him, bodies every five meters in the road, limbs . . . blood." Alain Boudail, owner of the restaurant where Allemand took shelter, told Time the attack was "carnage." "I could hear screams, cries and it looked like bowling, people were being thrown in the air two or three meters high," he said. "In front of my restaurant there were at least ten people laying on the street, dead." The High Club, a night club next door, had been turned into a field hospital, he said. So had the lobby of a swanky hotel called Negresco, where some of the injured were evacuated. On the promenade, blood pooled around bodies covered by blankets and foil sheets. Horror-struck people knelt by the bodies of the dead, while first responders tended to others. A Reuters photographer captured an image of a small figure covered in shining gold foil. A child's doll lay beside the body. "I was walking for nearly a mile, and there were dead bodies all over the place," Violet told the Guardian. "I think over 30 dead bodies are on the ground and lots of people are injured." Violet said she saw two sisters and a brother from Poland who had lost two siblings, and another family whose mother had died. She guessed that the family was Muslim, because some members were wearing headscarves. "In Arabic, they were saying she's a martyr," Violet said. Allande wrote that he wanted to stay and help, but "froze again." "At that moment I lost courage," he said. He returned to his scooter and drove away as the ambulances began to arrive. "This evening," he concluded, "was horror." © 2016 The Washington Post (This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.) ================================= Fri Jul 15, 2016 | 6:33 AM EDT Truck attacker plows into French crowd, kills 84 celebrating Bastille Day 4h ago | 01:49 Truck 'terrorist' kills at least 80 in France Truck attacker plows into French crowd, kills 84...X By Sophie Sassard and Michel Bernouin | NICE, France (Reuters) - An attacker at the wheel of a heavy truck plowed into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing at least 84 people and injuring scores more in what President Francois Hollande called a terrorist act. The driver, identified by a police source as a 31-year-old Tunisian-born Frenchman, also appeared to open fire before officers shot him dead. The man was not on the watch list of French intelligence services, but was known to the police in connection with common crimes such as theft and violence, the source said. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 18 people were in a critical condition after the attack on Thursday night, when the white truck zigzagged along the seafront Promenade des Anglais as a fireworks display marking the French national day ended just after 10:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET). According to one city official, the truck careered on for up to two km (1.5 miles). Several children were among the dead. "People went down like ninepins," Jacques, who runs Le Queenie restaurant on the seafront, told France Info radio. The attack seemed so far to be the work of a lone assailant. Hollande said in a pre-dawn address that he was calling up military and police reservists to relieve forces worn out by enforcing a state of emergency begun in November after Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers struck Paris entertainment spots on a Friday evening, killing 130 people. Only hours earlier he had announced the emergency would be lifted by the end of July. Following the attack, he said it would be extended by a further three months. "France is filled with sadness by this new tragedy," Hollande said. "There's no denying the terrorist nature of this attack." Major events in France have been guarded by troops and armed police since the Nov. 13 attacks. But it appeared to have taken many minutes to halt the progress of the truck as it tore along pavements and a pedestrian zone. One witness said she thought the attacker was firing a gun as he drove. "I saw this enormous white truck go past at top speed," said Suzy Wargniez, a local woman aged 65 who was watching from a cafe on the promenade. "It was shooting, shooting." A local government official said weapons and grenades were later found inside the rented vehicle. Nice-Matin newspaper said on Twitter that police were searching the attacker's home in the Nice neighborhood of Abattoirs. It gave no source of the information. (GRAPHIC: Map of Nice truck attack tmsnrt.rs/29LqLWk) ISLAMIC STATE TARGETS FRANCE After the Paris attacks, Islamic State said France and all nations following its path would remain at the top of its list of targets as long as they continued "their crusader campaign", referring to action against the group in Iraq and Syria. France is conducting air strikes and special forces operations against Islamic State, as well as training Iraqi government and Kurdish forces. "We will further strengthen our actions in Syria and Iraq," Hollande said, calling the tragedy on the day that France marks the 1789 revolutionary storming of the Bastille prison in Paris an attack on liberty by fanatics who despised human rights. Dawn broke on Friday with pavements smeared with dried blood. Smashed children's strollers, an uneaten baguette and other debris were strewn about the promenade. Small areas were screened off and what appeared to be bodies covered in blankets were visible through the gaps. The truck was still where it came to rest, its windscreen riddled with bullets. There had been no claim of responsibility on Friday morning. The truck careered into families and friends listening to an orchestra or strolling above the beach on the Mediterranean Sea toward the grand, century-old Hotel Negresco. Bystander Franck Sidoli said he had seen people go down. "Then the truck stopped, we were just five meters away. A woman was there, she lost her son. Her son was on the ground, bleeding," he told Reuters at the scene. ‹ French soldiers advance on the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French soldiers advance on the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French CRS and judicial police work near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing 80 people in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French CRS and judicial police work near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing 80 people in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard A man reacts as he sits near a French flag along the beachfront the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard A man reacts as he sits near a French flag along the beachfront the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French police and investigators gather on the beachfront as a French Navy ship patrols the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. French police and investigators gather on the beachfront as a French Navy ship patrols the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. Bodies are seen on the ground after a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard Bodies are seen on the ground after a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France. Reuters/Eric Gaillard A man reacts near bouquets of flowers near the scene where a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol A man reacts near bouquets of flowers near the scene where a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Pascal Rossignol French police continue their investigation as they work near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing 80 people in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French police continue their investigation as they work near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing 80 people in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French forensic police continue their investigation as they gather clues the day after a truck at high speed ran into a crowd killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French forensic police continue their investigation as they gather clues the day after a truck at high speed ran into a crowd killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck July 15, 2016 that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France, July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck July 15, 2016 that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France, July 14. Reuters/Eric Gaillard Armed soldiers patrol along the beach in Nice, France, July 15, 2016 the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol Armed soldiers patrol along the beach in Nice, France, July 15, 2016 the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday. Reuters/Pascal Rossignol French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck July 15, 2016 that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France, July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck July 15, 2016 that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France, July 14. Reuters/Eric Gaillard An injured individual is seen on the ground after a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard An injured individual is seen on the ground after a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France. Reuters/Eric Gaillard A body is seen on the ground after a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard A body is seen on the ground after a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France. Reuters/Eric Gaillard Armed French police secure an entrance to the Pasteur Hospital the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet Armed French police secure an entrance to the Pasteur Hospital the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Jean-Pierre Amet Members of the Australian French community place candles during a vigil in central Sydney, Australia, July 15, 2016, to remember the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. REUTERS/David Gray Members of the Australian French community place candles during a vigil in central Sydney, Australia, July 15, 2016, to remember the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. Reuters/David Gray A woman places flowers to pay tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, in front of the French embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich A woman places flowers to pay tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, in front of the French embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Gleb Garanich ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - Bodies are seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - Bodies are seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. Reuters/Eric Gaillard ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - Bodies are seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - Bodies are seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck July 15, 2016 that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France, July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck July 15, 2016 that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France, July 14. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck July 15, 2016 that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France, July 14. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French police forces and forensic officers stand next to a truck July 15, 2016 that ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing at least 60 people in Nice, France, July 14. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French police and rescue forces vehicles are seen on the Promenade des Anglais July 15, 2016 after at least 60 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet French police and rescue forces vehicles are seen on the Promenade des Anglais July 15, 2016 after at least 60 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. Reuters/Jean-Pierre Amet French police and rescue forces vehicles are seen on the Promenade des Anglais July 15, 2016 after at least 60 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet French police and rescue forces vehicles are seen on the Promenade des Anglais July 15, 2016 after at least 60 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. Reuters/Jean-Pierre Amet People cross the street with their hands on thier heads as a French soldier secures the area July 15, 2016 after at least 60 people were killed along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet People cross the street with their hands on thier heads as a French soldier secures the area July 15, 2016 after at least 60 people were killed along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. Reuters/Jean-Pierre Amet French soldiers and rescue forces are seen at the scene whare at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French soldiers and rescue forces are seen at the scene whare at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French soldiers and police secure the area after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French soldiers and police secure the area after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French soldiers secure the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French soldiers secure the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French soldiers cordon the area after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French soldiers cordon the area after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French soldiers advance on the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French soldiers advance on the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French soldiers advance on the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French soldiers advance on the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard French CRS and judicial police work near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing 80 people in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard French CRS and judicial police work near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais killing 80 people in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. Reuters/Eric Gaillard › Police told residents of the city to stay indoors as they conducted further operations. Officials in Italy, just 30 km (20 miles) away, said frontier controls were being stepped up. The Paris attack in November was the bloodiest among a number in France and Belgium in the past two years. On Sunday, a weary nation had breathed a sigh of relief that the month-long Euro 2016 soccer tournament had ended without incident. Four months ago, Belgian Islamists linked to the Paris attackers killed 32 people in Brussels. Vehicle attacks have been used by isolated members of militant groups in recent years, notably in Israel, though never to such devastating effect. Riders on the Tour de France, the top event on the international cycling calendar, observed a minute's silence before Thursday's 13th stage began. Security has been tightened for the three-week event, which is watched by huge crowds lining the route. U.S. President Barack Obama condemned what he said "appears to be a horrific terrorist attack". Others joining him included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Francis, Spain, Sweden, NATO and the United Nations Security Council. Turkey, where Islamic State and Kurdish militants have staged a number of attacks in recent months, offered its condolences. "For terrorist groups, there is no difference between Turkey and France, Iraq and Belgium, and Saudi Arabia and the United States," said President Tayyip Erdogan. =========================== Breakingviews on Twitter breakingviews.com breakingviews.com Search the Archive Friday, 15 July 2016 ▶Attack in Nice keeps border issue front and centre Another tragedy 15 July 2016 By Richard Beales A man reacts as he sits near a French flag along the beachfront the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard - RTSI1AR The tragic deaths of over 80 people celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice will keep border issues front and centre. The truck driver who ploughed through a crowd in what French President Francois Hollande called a terrorist act held French and Tunisian dual nationality, according to news reports. But that won’t prevent intensified fears about Europe’s frontiers. Like the attacks in Paris last November and those in Brussels in March, the latest atrocity could deepen divisions within Europe about welcoming refugees from the Middle East, as well as accentuating the divide between the right and left in politics. Opinion polls show that Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, could win the first round of the French presidential election set for April and May 2017. It will also rekindle worries about how governments balance security concerns and personal freedoms. French President Francois Hollande said after the events in Nice that a state of emergency put in place after November’s attacks would be extended for three months, not lifted as he had promised hours earlier. There are also questions for security and intelligence experts. The Nice attack thus far appears to be the work of a single man, not necessarily directed by any organisation. If that remains the case it’s a particularly difficult type of event to thwart – no easier to prevent than, say, the mass shooting that killed nearly 50 revellers at an Orlando, Florida night club last month. Meanwhile, European political focus on borders between countries has gained a new intensity following the UK electorate’s decision on June 23 to leave the EU. The coming years will see negotiations in which Britain hopes to secure access to the European market without having to accept the free movement of EU citizens. Federal elections are also due in Germany in 2017. Chancellor Angela Merkel has been one of the strongest pro-refugee voices as the migrant crisis has unfolded in recent years. Scenes like those in Nice – and, sadly, the possibility of more attacks – make Merkel’s preferred stance politically harder to maintain. With Brexit and national elections looming, relatively open borders could come under further threat. A man reacts as he sits near a French flag along the beachfront the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard - RTSI1AR A man reacts as he sits near a French flag along the beachfront the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores celebrating the Bastille Day July 14 national holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard - RTSI1AR ▶ Reuters: Truck attacker plows into French crowd, kills 84 celebrating Bastille Day ▶ Brussels blasts send European unity two steps back ▶ Mass shootings erode U.S. soft power ▶ Paris attacks crystallise Britain’s EU choices A gunman at the wheel of a heavy truck ploughed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice on July 14, killing at least 84 people and injuring scores more in what President Francois Hollande called a terrorist act. The attacker, identified by a police source as a 31-year-old Tunisian-born Frenchman, also opened fire before police shot him dead, Reuters reported on July 15. He had been known to the police for common crimes but not to the intelligence services, the source said. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 18 of the injured were in a critical condition after the 25-tonne truck zigzagged along the seafront Promenade des Anglais as a fireworks display marking the French national day ended just after 10.30 p.m. local time. Most Popular ▶ Monsanto-BASF talks smell like a red herring ▶ Assault on UK privilege has many possible targets ▶ New UK cabinet best suited to deliver Brexit-lite ▶ Mark Carney picks good time to confound markets ▶ Kurdistan oil bust is study in underestimated risk Breakingviews on Twitter Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions © Thomson Reuters 2016. All rights reserved. ==================================================== News/ ‘He would break everything around him’: Family detail Nice attacker's mental health issues Published time: 16 Jul, 2016 16:54 Edited time: 16 Jul, 2016 21:12 Get short URL This image obtained by AFP on July 15, 2016 from a French police source shows a reproduction of the residence permit of Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the man who rammed his truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice on July 14 © French police source This image obtained by AFP on July 15, 2016 from a French police source shows a reproduction of the residence permit of Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the man who rammed his truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice on July 14 © French police source / AFP Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel had a long history of violence and mental illness, his family back in his homeland of Tunisia said, while insisting he showed no obvious signs of radicalization prior to Thursday’s attack that left at least 84 people dead. Trends Nice truck attack “My brother had psychological problems, and we have given the police documents showing that he had been seeing psychologists for several years,” Rabeb Bouhlel, his sister, told Reuters. The 31-year-old Lahouaiej Bouhlel left Tunisia for France back in 2005, and did not keep in regular contact with his family, who live in modest accommodations in the village Msaken outside Sousse, a coastal resort that has also been targeted by an Islamist attack. People stand near the house of the man who drove a heavy truck into crowds in the French city of Nice killing at least 84 people in Msaken, Tunisia, July 15, 2016 © Zoubeir Souissi People stand near the house of the man who drove a heavy truck into crowds in the French city of Nice killing at least 84 people in Msaken, Tunisia, July 15, 2016 © Zoubeir Souissi / Reuters His family, which has literally chased away the media camped outside their house on several occasions, have refused to acknowledge that Lahouaiej Bouhlel was a terrorist. READ MORE: RT's coverage of the attack in Nice “From 2002 to 2004 he had problems that led to a nervous breakdown,” his father Mohamed Mondher Lahouaiej Bouhlel told several French channels in an interview outside his home, while brandishing his son’s clinical evaluations before the cameras. Read more French police and rescue forces vehicles are seen on the Promenade des Anglais July 15, 2016 after at least 84 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14. © Jean-Pierre AmetIslamic State claims responsibility for truck attack in Nice “He’d get angry and shout and break everything around him. He was violent and very ill. We took him to the doctor and he was put on drugs. Whenever there was a crisis, we took him back again. He was always alone. Always silent, refusing to talk. Even in the street, he wouldn’t greet people.” According to his father, after moving to France, Lahouaiej Bouhlel had “no connection with religion. He didn’t fast or keep Ramadan. He drank. He even took drugs.” In what may not be a coincidence, the men responsible for the Paris attacks last November also had a similar history of dead-end jobs, petty crime, drinking, and gambling, before apparently rapidly converting to the Islamist cause just months before their deaths. Although he last saw his family in Tunisia in 2012 when he traveled back for his sister’s wedding, in recent weeks Lahouaiej Bouhlel’s behavior radically changed. “Over the past month, he was calling us every day and he sent us money... He called several times a day,” explained Rebab. Jaber, the brother of 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel the driver of the truck that killed at least 84 and injured dozens in the French Riviera city of Nice, looks on as he stands outside his family home in Msaken on July 15, 2016 © Fethi Belaid Jaber, the brother of 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel the driver of the truck that killed at least 84 and injured dozens in the French Riviera city of Nice, looks on as he stands outside his family home in Msaken on July 15, 2016 © Fethi Belaid / AFP His brother Jaber Bouhlel told the Daily Mail that the family received 240,000 Tunisian dinar (almost $110,000) from Mohamed in the past few weeks – a surprisingly large sum for a low-paid deliveryman. “He used to send us small sums of money regularly like most Tunisians working abroad. But then he sent us all that money, it was fortune. He sent the money illegally. He gave cash to people he knew who were returning to our village and asked them to give it to the family,” said Jaber. Ibrahim Bouhlel, a nephew, said that Mohamed even promised to travel back to Tunisia for a family party this week. However, the next time his family saw him was in pictures in the news. “We’re all in a state of shock at what’s happened,” said his father. In a TV interview on Friday night, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that Lahouaiej Bouhlel “was likely a terrorist,” but police had not yet figured out if he had received financial support and training from Islamist organizations, or had simply subscribed to the ideology.

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