France arrests 8 over July truck attack that killed 86 in Nice
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France arrests 8 over July truck attack that killed 86 in Nice

Tunisian and French suspects all linked to Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who plowed vehicle through crowds on Bastille Day

Flowers and messages placed along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice on July 20, 2016, to honor the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Flowers and messages placed along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice on July 20, 2016, to honor the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

French authorities said Tuesday that there have been eight new arrests in connection with the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice that left 86 people dead — 10 of them children and teenagers — and 434 injured.

All eight suspects were arrested in the Alpes-Maritimes region in the southeastern corner of France that includes Nice.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said the suspects detained Monday were French and Tunisian and had links to the attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who plowed a 19-ton truck down Nice’s Promenade des Anglais and into a crowd assembled for a July 14 fireworks display.

The 31-year-old father of three was shot dead by police after a firefight. French authorities said the terrorist became radicalized “very quickly,” with some of his family and friends saying that he had smoked, drank and never gone to the mosque.

A woman seeking her son near the scene of an attack after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers watching the Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. (AP/Luca Bruno)
A woman seeking her son near the scene of an attack after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers watching the Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. (AP/Luca Bruno)

While he had a record of being a petty criminal, Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had not appeared on the radar of intelligence services for links to radical Islam.

At least five people already face preliminary terrorism charges in the attack, and are accused of helping Lahouaiej-Bouhlel obtain a pistol and providing other support. It was not immediately clear what role is suspected for the men arrested this week.

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