Two new arrests in French truck massacre case
search

Two new arrests in French truck massacre case

Man and woman with ties to Nice killer Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel in custody, along with five others

This photo taken on July 16, 2016 in front of Le Meridien hotel in Nice, southern France, shows people gathering around flowers and candles placed in the road for victims of the deadly Bastille Day attack.(AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT)
This photo taken on July 16, 2016 in front of Le Meridien hotel in Nice, southern France, shows people gathering around flowers and candles placed in the road for victims of the deadly Bastille Day attack.(AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT)

French police on Sunday arrested a man and a woman with ties to the man behind a truck ramming attack claimed by the Islamic State group, a judicial source said.

Five other people are already in custody, including the estranged wife of Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian with no apparent links to extremism who is said to have been radicalized very quickly.

Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot dead by police after he rammed a truck through a crowd celebrating France’s Bastille Day in the resort city of Nice, leaving 84 dead and about 300 more injured.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the killings on Saturday, three days after the assault.

An ID card in the name of terror suspect Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, alleged to have killed more than 80 people in Nice on July 14, 2016 (Courtesy)
An ID card in the name of terror suspect Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, alleged to have killed more than 80 people in Nice on July 14, 2016 (Courtesy)

In a statement via its Amaq news service, IS said one of its “soldiers” carried out the attack “in response to calls to target nations of coalition states that are fighting (IS).”

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the father-of-three “seemed to have been radicalized very quickly, from what his friends and family” have told police.

“We are now confronted with individuals open to IS’s message to engage in extremely violent actions without necessarily having been trained or having the weapons to carry out a mass (casualty) attack,” he said.

IS also claimed responsibility for the November 13 attacks which killed 130 people in Paris, while gunmen in January 2015 attacks on the Charlie Hebdo weekly and a Jewish supermarket were linked to both IS and Al-Qaeda.

A French parliamentary inquiry last week criticized numerous failings by the intelligence services over the Paris massacres.

France is also home to hundreds of jihadists who have flocked to fight alongside IS.

At least 10 children and adolescents were among the dead in Nice as well as tourists from the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Switzerland and Germany.

A spokeswoman for the city’s pediatric hospital said 16 bodies had not yet been identified.

Five children and 21 adults remained in a critical condition and were among 121 people still hospitalized, the French health ministry said.

read more:
comments