Roughly 18 hours ago, on Thursday, July 14, a 31-year-old Tunisian national and French resident; Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who has been described as A-religious drove his lorry 70 mph for a mile and a half down a closed street in Nice France, killing 84, 10 among the dead were children.
He was not known to be on any intelligence agency list, and there has been no connection to Bouhlel and ISIS or any terrorist organization for that matter. He was said to be known as a “petty criminal”. The Tunisian injured over 200, 52 of those injured as President Francois Hollande said are between life and death at this point. The nationalities of those involved in the innocent celebration of Bastille Day, France’s celebration of their independence, which had been planned as a four day celebratory weekend, has now become yet another in a line of terrorist attacks over the past two months (Baghdad July 2, Dhaka July 1, Istanbul June 29).
Shocking to most is unlike a car bomb, strategic suicide bombing, or the like, Bouhlel decided to drive a truck down a closed street, mauling and crushing people in his path, he was said to swerve the vehicle to ensure he targeted as many people as he could.
As Quartz Magazine reported:
Eyewitness Eric Ciotti, a local lawmaker, told Europe 1 radio (link in French) that a person of “extraordinary courage” leapt onto the truck as people tried to flee from its path. “A person jumped on to the truck to try to stop it,” he said. “It was at this moment that the police were able to stop the terrorist.”
Ciotti said the driver, since identified as Tunisian-born Frenchman Mohamed Lagouaiej Bouhlel, tried to shoot the person with a pistol but missed. Police, including at least one woman, then moved in and killed the man.
“I will never forget the look of the policewoman who intercepted the killer,” Ciotti added.
Those at the Bastille Day celebration were from all parts of the world. According to Al Jazeera Newspaper 60 year old Fatima Charrihi, a Nice resident originally from Morocco was the first among the dead in this tragic attack. She was a mother of 7 children and was described as an “extraordinary mum” by one of her surviving sons; Hamza.
In an earlier version of this article it was written “as it stands we are not aware of deaths or injuries of African nationals or ex-pats,” this was verified as erroneous information and the correction has since been appended.