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10 children dead in Bastille Day carnage

Islamic State claims link to Riviera truck horror

Truck with bullet-holed windscreen

Truck with bullet-holed windscreen

Update 11am Sat: Islamic State claimed one of its followers was responsible for the truck attack in Nice on Saturday which left 84 people dead.

French police have arrested five people in connection with the carnage as the news agency Amaq, which supports IS, issued a statement.

“The person who carried out the operation in Nice, France, to run down people was one of the soldiers of Islamic State,” it said.

“He carried out the operation in response to calls to target nationals of states that are part of the coalition fighting Islamic State.”

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old French-Tunisian man who lived in the Riviera city, drove the vehicle into a crowd of revellers who had gathered to watch a Bastille Day firework display on the city’s famous Promenade des Anglais.

At about 11pm local time (9pm British time) the truck was driven about a mile along the Promenade where thousands of locals and tourists were attending the event.

Eyewitnesses say the truck travelled at about 50 km per hour, then came to a stop and the driver got out of the vehicle, opening fire on the crowd. There was a gun battle with police who shot him dead.

Questions were being asked about how the truck managed to get to the waterfront since the city centre has restrictions on heavy goods vehicles. Additional security restrictions were put in place for the festival.

The French authorities said 202 people were injured and 50 children were treated in hospital. Fifty people remain in a critical condition. One Briton is among those injured or dead, according to the Foreign Office.

Concerns for a Scottish couple who were in the area and had not made contact were alleviated after they were found to be safe.

Ross Cowan, 30, and his wife Carole Annie, 27, from Helensburgh, were on holiday on the Côte d’Azur and were taking part in the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice.

The attacker was known to police for common law crimes, but not to intelligence services. His ex-wife was taken into police custody.

The government put 10,000 extra reservists on to the streets of France to allay growing public fears against further attacks.

Nice attack

Briton Will Shore, who lives in the city and went to help, said last night: “Everyone was in such panic. It was really evident that something big was going on. The city is now in lock down.”

President Francois Hollande returned first to Paris to chair an emergency meeting and later travelled to Nice

He said the country’s state of emergency would be extended for another three months. He said its borders were being tightened and vowed that France would show “real force and military action in Syria and Iraq.”

He later added: “We are facing a long battle.”

Interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said: “We are at war with terrorists who want to strike us at any cost and who are extremely violent.”

Mr Hollande travelled to Nice with the prime minister, Manuel Valls, who said the country was in “immense pain”. This is the third attack on France in 18 months.

The attack drew global condemnation. In the US, President Barack Obama said his country stood in solidarity and partnership with France.

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump postponed naming his running mate. He said; “Another horrific attack. This time in Nice, France. Many dead and injured. When will we learn? It is getting worse.”

Labour MP Owen Smith postponed the launch of his campaign for the party leadership.

owen smith campaign delay

 

Terror attack Nice

 

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