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Friday, 15 July 2016

Nice attack: France declares three days of mourning

France has declared three days of national mourning after at least 84 people were killed in the city of Nice when an attacker drove a lorry into a large crowd celebrating the country's main national holiday.

Speaking from Nice on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said around 50 people are in critical condition, still "between life and death" after the attack.

Police have identified the suspect on Friday as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old man, who is originally from Tunisia. Authorities said he was married with three children.

Authorities said Bouhlel, who works as a driver in Nice, rented the lorry he used in the attack five days ago. Bouhlel was known to French police, but not intelligence officials.

The suspect was shot dead on Thursday night, after ramming the lorry through the festive crowd for two kilometres, sending hundreds of people fleeing in terror and leaving the area strewn with bodies, including many children.

Speaking after an emergency meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the period of national mourning would begin on Saturday.

Valls also confirmed that a measure extending the country's state of emergency, which has been in force since the November 13 Paris attacks, would go before parliament next week.

"Times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism, and we must face this together," he said.

  • 'Nothing will make us yield'

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for what was the third major attack to hit France in the past 18 months.

Hollande said the incident had "all the elements to be called a terrorist attack" and vowed to fight similar threats.

"Nothing will make us yield in our will to fight terrorism," he said in the early hours of Friday...
 Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
15/7/16

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