Mile long Rampage - Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel Identified As Driver Of Truck In Nice AttackJuly 15, 2016 22:14
A truck ploughed into a crowd in the French city of Nice, killing at least 84 late Thursday night, in what President Francois Hollande called a “terrorist” attack on revellers watching a Bastille Day fireworks display.
The truck driver, who was formally identified on Friday, was shot dead after barreling the truck for two kilometres through the festive crowd on the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais, sending hundreds fleeing in terror and leaving the area strewn with bodies. Around 100 people were forced to dive into the sea as panic ensued and holiday crowds desperately ran for their lives. The gunman then jumped out of the truck and opened fire, which is when he was shot dead by police.
The truck driver, who was known to police, was said to have shouted 'Allahu Akbar' – God is great in Arabic – before being killed in a clear suicide mission. Pro-ISIS groups have been celebrating the attack, orchestrated to coincide with France's most important national holiday.
Police arrest Bastille Day killer's WIFE as dramatic footage shows moment Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was shot dead in the truck he used to drive through crowds, killing 84 people including 10 children One eyewitness filmed armed officers approaching the cab of the lorry and firing repeatedly through its windscreen and doors before it appears Bouhlel can be heard screaming after being hit by a police bullet and he died slumped in the passenger seat.
Witness Nadar El Shafei told the BBC: 'He died inside the vehicle - I saw his head [hanging] out of the window, they kept shooting him from all sides just to be sure. Then they asked us to run away in case there were others inside the car or a bomb.' The shootout came after his 30 minute rampage where he aimed at crowds watching fireworks and sent 'bodies flying like bowling pins' and left others 'jammed' under the lorry's wheels at around 10.30pm local time last night.
This evening the death toll stands at 84 with another 202 injured. Of those 52 are in hospital in a critical condition and 25 of them are on life support machines. Heartbroken men and women refused to leave the bodies of their loved ones and the dead remain strewn across the famous Promenade des Anglais today.Hundreds have now laid flowers in their memory as President Hollande said 'many foreigners have died' with at least 50 more people 'between life and death'. At least ten of the victims were children, with young girls and boys lying dead covered in a blankets with their dolls and buggies still next to them.
Footage taken at the time of the attack shows bodies piled up in the roads and people running from their lives as they tried to avoid the zig-zagging lorry while paramedics treated the injured and dying in the street. A huge cache of guns, grenades and 'larger weapons' and the terrorist's identity papers were later found inside the lorry, which mounted the pavement at approximately 40mph and steered directly towards hundreds of people watching a fireworks display.
ISIS supporters have been celebrating the attack, orchestrated to coincide with France's most important national holiday. The gunman was known to police for crimes of theft and violence, but not intelligence services, a police source said. A suspected accomplice is on the run.
France today declared three days of national mourning after the truck attack - its third major terror attack in 18 months - and President Francois Hollande said: 'France is in tears, it is hurting but it is strong and she will be stronger - always stronger than the fanatics who wish to hurt us.'
The Nice terrorist rented the lorry two days earlier and had been parked on the street for nearly nine hours and even told police he was delivering ice cream before carrying out his deadly attack, according to reports. The killer, who was previously known to police for violence and theft, is reported to have had assault rifles, a pistol and even a grenade with him in the lorry - but they went undiscovered. Despite allegedly questioning the driver, police officers in the southern French city did nothing to move him on as he waited to begin the attack. He was shot dead by a police officer, believed to have been female, after he opened fire into a crowd of fleeing people. A motorcyclist tried to stop the rampage by drawing level with the truck and attempting to open the door of its cab before he fell and ended up under its wheels.
Today the delivery truck, riddled with bullets, remains in the centre of Nice with bodies strewn nearby. People posted images of friends, brothers and sisters, mothers and numerous young people who they have been unable to reach since at least 84 people were killed in the southern French city.
A Scottish woman has launched a desperate online appeal for information to help find her sister and brother-in-law who are currently missing in Nice. Carol Cowan, 27, and her husband Ross, 30, were on the French Riviera on holiday when a lorry ploughed through crowds celebrating Bastille Day killing 84 people. The couple, from Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, have not been heard from since and neither have they updated their social media profiles.
Mrs Cowan's sister Amy Stanton told the Daily Record: 'We are all just desperately hoping that they will get in touch. The longer that goes by without them getting in touch, the more worried we are all becoming.' Many others of the heartbreaking messages posted on Twitter include photos of mothers and daughters, young people, and show screenshots of frantic messages sent to the missing, with no reply. French President Francois Hollande said several children were among the dead and added that it was 'undeniable' the massacre was a terrorist attack. He said the truck attack was done 'to satisfy the cruelty of an individual, and maybe a group.' Speaking after visiting the hospital where victims were treated, he also said that France was 'facing a struggle which will be long.'