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The Latest: France Holds Moment of Silence for Nice Victims

The Latest: France Holds Moment of Silence for Nice Victims

Monday, 18 July 2016 09:23 AM

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on that truck attack in Nice, France (all times local):

12 noon

France is holding a national moment of silence for 84 people killed by a truck rampage in Nice, and thousands of people are massed on the waterfront promenade where Bastille Day celebrations became a killing field.

Flowers in their hands and tears in their eyes, crowds stood on the rocky beach for several minutes Monday looking toward the Promenade des Anglais, the road that had been cleared of traffic for Thursday's holiday fireworks show.

Driver Mohamed Lahouiaej Bouhlel sped his truck through the crowd, aiming to kill. Many of the dead and 308 injured were children.

Among those at the ceremony in Nice was Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Buildings stood silent across the country.

11:35 a.m.

The uncle of the man who killed 84 people with a truck on the French Riviera says his nephew was indoctrinated about two weeks ago by an Algerian member of the Islamic State group in Nice.

French officials could not confirm Monday that attacker Mohamed Lahouaiyej Bouhlel had been approached by an Algerian recruiter, saying that the investigation is ongoing.

The driver's uncle, Sadok Bouhlel, told The Associated Press that given Bouhlel's family problems — he was estranged from his wife and three children — the Algerian "found in Mohamed an easy prey."

Bouhlel's rapid radicalization has puzzled investigators. Friends and family said he had not been an observant Muslim in the past.

Sadok Bouhlel spoke in the driver's hometown of Msaken, Tunisia. He said he learned about the Algerian from extended family members who live in Nice.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack Thursday but Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday that investigators have found no sign yet that Bouhlel had links to a particular network.

11:30 a.m.

The French government is defending its efforts to fight Islamic State extremists abroad and at home, announcing new airstrikes against their strongholds in the past two days.

President Francois Hollande's Socialist administration has come under blistering criticism from opposition conservatives after last week's deadly attack in Nice. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy accused the government of bad policies that he says failed to prevent three major attacks in the past 18 months.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve hit back Monday, listing a series of laws and extra police forces created under Hollande's presidency "to face a threat that France was not prepared for" when he took over from Sarkozy in 2012.

After a special security meeting, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said French forces in the U.S-led coalition struck IS targets again overnight and on Saturday. French warplanes have been involved in the operation in Iraq and to a lesser degree in Syria.

9:15 a.m.

France's interior minister says investigators have no evidence so far that the truck driver who killed 84 people in Nice had links to "terrorist networks."

Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday on RTL radio that while the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Bastille Day attack, the driver may have been motivated by IS messages but not necessarily coordinating with a larger network.

Cazeneuve says: "These links for now have not been established by the investigation."

Authorities say Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian living in Nice, had become recently and rapidly radicalized.

Cazeneuve said 59 people are still hospitalized after the attack Thursday, 29 of them in intensive care, out of 308 people injured overall. Many of the dead and injured were children watching a fireworks display with their families.

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The Latest on that truck attack in Nice, France (all times local):12 noonFrance is holding a national moment of silence for 84 people killed by a truck rampage in Nice, and thousands of people are massed on the waterfront promenade where Bastille Day celebrations became a...
EU,France,Truck,Attack,The,Latest
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2016-23-18
Monday, 18 July 2016 09:23 AM
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