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Frankreich Terroranschlag in Nizza
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/A. Gebert

+++ Truck attack in Nice - live updates +++

Kate Brady, Elizabeth Schumacher
July 15, 2016

Dozens of people have been killed and 50 more wounded in the city of Nice after a man drove a truck through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day on Thursday night. Read the latest here.


All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC)

At least 84 people, including 10 children, have been killed in the southern French town of Nice after a truck carrying firearms was driven two kilometers (1.2 miles) through a crowd of revelers on Bastille Day. Fifty others have been injured, 18 of them critically.

Police have confirmed that the driver was a 31-year-old local man of Tunisian origin, known to police for common law crimes. He was shot dead by police shortly after the attack. President Francois Hollande has announced three days of mourning from July 16.

French authorities have created a hotline for relatives of those affected, which can be reached at +33 (0)1 43 17 56 46.

17:48 - A vigil in underway at the cathedral of Sainte Réparate in Nice. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy was also in attendence.

16:56 - Multiple news agencies have reported that the truck used to plow through a celebrating crowd in Nice was rented by Bouhlel on July 11 and parked near the Promenade des Anglais ahead of the attack. Authorities have said he arrived by bicycle before entering the vehicle.

16:18 - France's Justice Minister, Jean-Jacques Urvoas, has elaborated on the attacker's arrest for road rage in January.

"There was an altercation between him and another driver and he hurled a wooden pallet at the man," Urvoas told reporters, adding that he was given his 6-month sentence in March. The sentence was suspended because it was a first offense; he was required to check in with the police once a week.

Sources from his native Tunisia told Reuters news agency that while Bouhlel was not known to hold radical views, he reportedly had marital problems and there had been allegations of domestic violence.

Man sits on the promenade in Nice
Image: Reuters/E. Gaillard

15:14 - French prosecutor Francois Molins has given an update of the initial investigation into the attack. He confirmed the identity of the perpetrator, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, that he was a father and that he was born in January 1985 in Tunisia.

Molins added that Bouhlel's ex-wife has been taken into custody by police for questioning.

He then gave details of the police response to the attack. Once authorities had caught up with Bouhlel, Molins said, he began shooting at officers, who returned fire. They found him dead in the truck, along with one automatic pistol, bullets, several fake weapons and a mobile phone. Molins said it was still unknown where he got the 19-metric-ton refridgerated truck or the pistol.

The prosecutor said that Bouhlel had been arrested in early 2016 for assault and handed a six-month suspended sentence. He was not known to authorities for terrorist activities, though ties to extremist organizations were now being investigated.

Molins also said that 10 children and teenagers were among the dead, and that one of them has not yet been identified.

14:38 - Officials in the city of Berlin have confirmed that three of those killed were two high school students and a teacher from the German capital. "We stand side by side" with the victims' families, said Reinhard Naumann, the mayor of Berlin's Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district.

14:15 - Multiple news agencies in France say police sources have confirmed the attacker's identity: 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel is a resident in Nice, born in a suburb of Tunisia's city of Sousse. He was a heavy goods vehicle driver. French daily Le Monde reports that he was recently arrested following a fight after a road traffic argument.

According to Reuters sources in Tunisia, authorities were not aware of Bouhlel harboring any radical or Islamist views. He was a father of three, those sources said, although it is as yet unclear whether he was still married or when he had last resided in Tunisia.

13:19 - In a statement from the government's crisis center in Nice, President Hollande not only offered a message of condolences and strength, but outlined what will happen next in the aftermath of the attack.

First, he explained, the authorities will continue their search for any active accomplices. Then, in the coming months, security services will be expanded and reinforced throughout the country.

The president said: "84 people have died, 50 are still in critical condition....people who came from France, but also from every continent. Children who came to see the fireworks with their families."

Hollande also urged people to be sensitive to the psychological, as well as physical, trauma of the survivors: "Their bodies are wounded, but their minds are wounded as well."

He concluded by saying that the French must remain strong "because we have to set an example of cohesion and unity for the world."

13:01 - "We're used to seeing postcards from Nice full of beauty, not images of death with a doll near a destroyed stroller. Reacting is a moral duty," says Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in a Facebook post, adding that the deaths of children made the incident particularly monstrous.

12:53 - Interpol has sent a response team to assist with the investigation in Nice. The France-based international police organization said it will bring in terrorism and information specialists who can carry out real-time checks.

12:43 - Germany's leaders have expanded their messages of solidarity. Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote to Hollande to say: "Our condolences can never reverse the loss of so many lives," but that "solidarity at such times is the most valuable thing we have."

President Joachim Gauck echoed her sentiments, also saying that Europe was ready "to defend and protect our values."

12:34 - Nice airport has reopened following an evacuation and security sweep.

12:15 - Poland's Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak blamed the attack in Nice on the European Union's political correctness and policy of multiculturalism.

He told Polsat news that the violence was the result of years of "multi-culti policies and political correctness. This is how it ends." He praised his ruling right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) for taking a tough stance against migrants.

Frankreich Gedenkstätte an der Strandpromenade in Nizza
Image: DW/B. Riegert

11:21 - Spain has stepped up security at tourist hot spots across the country. Surveillance has also been increased on the border to southwestern France, Spanish Interior Minister Fernandez Diaz said.

11:14 - Pop star Rihanna has cancelled her concert in Nice which was due to take place on Friday night. The Nice Jazz Festival which was scheduled for Saturday has also been cancelled.

11:10 - The foreign ministries of Armenia and Ukraine have said two Armenians and one Ukrainian were killed in Thursday's attacks.

Switzerland's foreign ministry also reported that one Swiss woman had died.

10:55 - Close to the site of Thursday night's attack in Nice, mourners have laid flowers and messages of sympathy to the victims and their families.

10:44 - Middle Eastern countries and leading Muslim clerics have condemned Thursday's attack.

Sunni Islam's leading center of learning, Al-Azhar, said the "vile terrorist attack" contradicted Islam and called for "uniting efforts to defeat terrorism and rid the world of its evil."

Tunisia said that the attacker, who police say was Franco-Tunisian, had committed an act of "extreme cowardice" and expressed solidarity with France against the "scourge of terrorism."

10:32 - Minutes behind the prime minister, French President Francois Hollande has touched down in Nice where French authorities are still investigating the site of the attack.

French authorities investigate truck used in terror attack
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/F. Mori

10:26 - The Tour de France has resumed in Bourg-Saint-Andeol with a minute's silence in tribute to the victims of the truck attack. Following a crisis meeting with local authorities and the gendarmerie, organizers decided to tighten security and go ahead with the thirteenth stage of the cycling event.

"We want this day to be a day of dignity as a tribute to the victims," said race director Christian Prudhomme. "We think, after agreeing with authorities, that the race must continue."

10:23 - The Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed that one Russian woman has been killed and a second injured in the attack. Three other Russian nationals also remain unaccounted for.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to France, describing the attack as "shocking in its cruelty and cynicism."

"Once again we see that terrorism is completely devoid of any human morality: the victims are innocent civilians, including women and children," Putin said.

10:17 - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has landed in Nice.

10:15 - In an interview with DW, eyewitness Richard Gutjahr has recalled Thursday night's attack. "Many of the bodies are still laying out for investigative reasons," he said. "It looks like a war scene."

Witnesses recall Nice attack

10:13 - British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK stands "shoulder to shoulder" with France. "Brutal terrorism must be defeated," she added. The threat level in the UK is already at "severe." At 10 Downing Street, the Union Jack and French Tricolore flags are being flown at half-mast.

10:00 - French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls are travelling to Nice to the site of the attack.

09:55 - Authorities in Nice are searching the home of the attacker.

09:51 - According to media reports, three Germans and one Brit were among the 84 people killed in Thursday night's truck attack.

09:35 - US broadcaster NBC has reported that a father and son from Texas were killed in the attack. According to NBC, the deaths of baseball coach Sean Clark and his 11-year-old son, Brodie, was provided by a "family representative."

09:41 - The UN Human Rights Organization has described the truck attack as "yet another blow aimed at the heart of humanity by extremists."

09:38 - Stephanie Simpson, communications director for the Lenval Foundation Hospital in Nice, has said at least 50 children and teenagers have been hospitalized as a result of the truck attack. Injuries included fractures and head injuries. Two of those hospitalized died during or after surgery, she said.

09:15 - Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has confirmed that National Day celebrations will go ahead as planned on July 21. He said "appropriate measures," would be taken to safeguard the event.

09:06 - Local French paper "Nice-Matin" has identified the truck driver as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. Authorities are yet to confirm the name of the perpetrator.

09:04 - London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he's reviewing safety measures in the UK capital.

09:03 - Germany has announced that it will boost border controls at airports, as well as road and rail routes into France.

"In coordination with the French security authorities the federal police are strengthening their control in the area of cross-border traffic into France," the German police said in a statement.

08:52 - Former Intelligence Director Alain Juillet, has told "France 24" that the attack in Nice "isn't a surprise."

"We've been expecting something like this for months," he said.

"We were really focused on it because of the football…and the Tour de France. But it seems that yesterday for July 14, we weren't as careful."

08:32 - French President Francois Hollande has called for three days of mourning on July 16, 17 and 18.

08:31 - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that France should "learn to live with terrorism."

"France has once against been hit in its soul, on July 14, on its national day," Valls said.

08:30 - A police source has confirmed that the driver of the truck was a 31-year-old Franco-Tunisian man. His identity papers were found in the vehicle used in the attack. Authorities have not yet released his name, but said he lived in Nice.

07:55 - German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has said the attack in Nice is "incomprehensible and simply awful."

"This barbaric murder must finally be brought to an end," de Maiziere said.

07:40 - Local MP Eric Ciotti has told "Europe 1" radio how some people tried to escape the attack by going into the sea.

"A person jumped onto the truck to try to stop it," he said. "It's at that moment that the police were able to neutralize this terrorist. I won't forget the look of this policewoman who intercepted the killer."

07:35 - Ahead of a meeting in Moscow with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the attack in Nice shows the need to find a faster way to end the "terrorist scourge."

07:30 - Regional President in Nice Christian Estrosi has said that more than 10 children are among the 84 victims killed in the truck attack.

Some of the city's 1,200 CCTV camera have also recorded the moment the attacker set off in the truck, Estrosi said, adding that his path could be traced from the hills of Nice to his arrival on the promenade.

07:15 - Flowers have been laid at the French embassy in Berlin where the French flag is being flown at half-mast.

07:00 - As France wakes to the news of Thursday night's attack, the morning papers focus on Nice.

"La dépêche du midi" leads with the headline: "Nice: horror and panic"

"Le Figaro" reported of a "new horror."

06:52 - Eye-witnesses of the attack have begun to share their experiences. One woman told "France Info" how she and others fled in terror. "The truck came zig-zagging along the street. We ran into a hotel and hid in the toilets with a lot of people," she said.

Damien Allemand, a journalist at the local paper "Nice-Matin," said he had been watching the Bastille Day firework display when the truck tore through the crowd.

After taking cover in a cafe, Allemand described the scene as her returned to the promenade: "Bodies every five meters, limbs... blood. Groans."

Emergency services on Nice'S promenade
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Lapoirie

06:46 - The Vatican has expressed its solidarity with France in a wake of the attack in Nice. "We absolutely condemn all demonstrations of 'deadly' madness, hate, terrorism and any attack against peace," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said.

06:30 - The southern French city of Marseille, which lies approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Nice, has canceled its firework display. The spectacle was scheduled to take place later on Friday.

06:03 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned the attack. "Germany stands in the fight against terrorism at France's side, united with many, many others. I am convinced that, despite all the difficulties, we shall win this fight," Merkel said from the sidelines of the ASEM summit between Asian and European leaders in Mongolia.

06:00 - The French Interior Ministry has officially raised the death toll to 84.

05:33 - Local French paper "Nice-Matin" has reported that the death toll has risen to 84.

05:22 - Tour de France race leader Chris Froome has tweeted a message of support to victims and their families. "Thoughts are with those affected by the horrific terror attack in Nice," Froome wrote. Organizers are yet to decide whether Friday's hilly 37.5-kilometer (23-mile) leg from Bourg-Saint-Andeol to La Caverne du Pont-D'Arc in the Ardeche region will go ahead as planned.

05:13 - The truck driver was known to French police for common law crimes, Reuters news agency has reported.

04:51 - Laurence Marie, who works at Nice's Lenval pediatric hospital, has said "many children are undergoing surgery following the truck attack."

04:35 - French investigators have not yet been able to identify the driver of the truck. Citing unnamed sources, local French newspaper "Nice-Matin" has said the perpetrator was a 31-year-old local man of Tunisian origin. However, the authorities have not yet confirmed this.

04:33 - President of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region Christian Estrosi had said that the driver fired several shots before he was killed by police. He described the attack as "the worst tragedy in the history of Nice."

Truck with gunshots in the window
Image: Reuters/E. Gaillard

04:00 - French broadcaster iTELE has tweeted out a map showing hospitals calling for blood donations:

03:39 - World leaders and representatives attending the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) have held a minute's silence for the victims of the attack in Nice at the opening of the summit.

ASEM summit
Image: Reuters/D. Sagolj

03:36 - In a sign of solidarity with victims in the Nice attack, the Mexican Senate has been illuminated in the colors of the French flag.

02:05 - In a tweet, French President Francois Hollande has said that France will "always be stronger than the fanatics who wanted to attack it today."

01:56 - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has tweeted his reaction to the attack in Nice: "The city of Nice was attacked by terrorism on its national day. Immense pain, the country is in mourning. The French will endure."

01:55 - French President Francois Hollande has announced that security forces with be stepped up, both within France and at its borders.

"It's clear that we need to do everything we can to fight against terrorism," Hollande said.

France's state of emergency, which was due to end on July 26, will be extended by three months. Hollande has said a law for the extension will be submitted to parliament next week.

The French president has said France will "reinforce operations in Syria and Iraq."

Truck attack in Nice

01:53 - In what has sadly become common procedure following a terrorist attack, more tributes are being paid to the victims online with drawings and paintings.

One artist sent this painting to French newspaper "Le Monde" with the caption "summer has arrived."

01:52 - In the Russian capital, Moscow, flowers and candles have been laid outside the French embassy.

00:58 - Similar to the aftermath of the Paris attacks, the hashtag #JesuisNice has started to trend on Twitter:

00:55 - Newly-appointed UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said he is "shocked and saddened by the appalling events in Nice."

00:50: Paying his respects to the victims of the attack in Nice, President of the European Council Donald Tusk has said that European and Asian leaders "stand united against violence and hatred:

In a separate tweet, Tusk said it was a "tragic paradox" that the target of the attack was people celebrating "liberté, égalité, fraternité" ("liberty, equality and fraternity").

23:57 - US President Barack Obama has condemned the attack in Nice "in the strongest terms."

"On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world," Obama said in a statement.

"We know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life," the president added.

23:17 - A spokesperson for newly-appointed UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said the PM has been informed of the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this terrible incident on what was a day of national celebration," the spokesperson said.

23:16 - Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has said that Italy will boost controls at three road crossings into France and at the Ventimiglia train link in light of the truck attack.

"Our security apparatus is at work," Alfano tweeted.

23:15 - Nice prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre has told AFP news agency that the truck drove two kilometers (1.3 miles) through the crowd.

23:12 - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tweeted his condolences to France: "Canadians are shocked by tonight's attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims and our solidarity with the French people."

23:58 - The hashtag #portesouvertesNice (#OpenDoorsNice) has started to trend on Twitter as locals offer to take in people affected by the attack.

22:56 - French President Francois Hollande is reportedly on his way to the Interior Ministry crisis center in Paris.

Mourners in Nice
Image: Getty Images/AFP/V. Hache

22:50 - French media has reported that the driver of the lorry has been shot dead.

22:46 - Social networking site Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature enabling people to let friends and family know whether they're safe.

Hollande: Nice attack had 'terrorist character'

22:44 - Nice's local prefecture has urged people to remain inside.

22:42 - Local media has reported that the incident took place on Nice's Promenade des Anglais shortly after a firework display.

20:40 - A lorry has plowed at high-speed into a crowd of revelers at Bastille Day celebrations in the southern French city of Nice. Early reports suggest that many people have been killed.

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