On Friday, after France’s Independence day celebrations usually referred to as Bastile Day, the world collectively woke to news of yet another suspected terrorist attack. At last count, the Nice attack claimed the lives of 84 people and left over 50 critically injured.
In the midst of celebrations at Nice, french Rivera in France, a lorry had forcefully run into the crowd. Eighty-four people had lost their lives in the Nice attack, with over 200 more injured. Ten of the dead were kids and of the 202 injured; 52 of them are critical out of which 25 are on life support.
In the face of these depressing statistics about the Nice attack, it has been confirmed that the driver of the lorry was Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, aged 31 years. Mohammed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had waited till after the display of fireworks on the seafront of Nice and practically at the tail end of what would have been a successful celebration, before he launched his attack.
Prosecutors said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had driven the lorry 2km (1.2 miles) along the famous Promenade des Anglais and fired at police before being shot dead. The other weapons recovered from the lorry were replicas or fake. Justifying several claims made since the day of the attack by high level individuals that it was of a terrorist nature, the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed that it inspired the attack.
Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was known by the police as a petty criminal, but was “totally unknown to intelligence services and was never flagged for signs of radicalization. A chauffeur and delivery man, he had three children but had separated from his wife, who was taken into police custody on Friday.
Francois Hollande, who arrived to Nice on Friday, said the attack was of “an undeniable terrorist nature”. He also referred to the reason behind the attack as a need “to satisfy the cruelty of an individual or possibly a group” and confirmed that many of the victims were foreigners and young children.
He admitted that the battle against terrorism would be long but encouraged that “We will overcome the suffering because we are a united France”. In the aftermath of the attack, the state of emergency, in place since November’s Paris attacks carried out by ISIS militants, in which 130 people died, has been extended by three months.