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France: 6 years after Nice truck rampage where an Islamic terrorist killed 86 people, suspects go on trial

Shortly after the attack, police shot and killed the terrorist, a 31-year-old Tunisian man named Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel.

Eight individuals are set to go on trial on Monday for the horrific terror attack in July 2016 in the city of Nice in France that left 86 people dead. 6 years ago, a radical Islamist terrorist rammed a truck into a crowd of thousands of residents and tourists who were enjoying France’s national day. Shortly after the incident, police shot and killed the terrorist, a 31-year-old Tunisian man named Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel.

According to the prosecution, the suspects helped Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel get weapons, rent a vehicle, and plan the route for his deadly attack. The terrorist organisation Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the Nice assault, but French authorities found no links between the perpetrator and the Islamic State.

Three suspects, who are reported to be the attacker’s close acquaintances, are charged with involvement in a terrorist crime syndicate for allegedly aiding the attacker in obtaining the vehicle and weapons. Two of them face sentences of 20 years in prison, while the third one is facing a life sentence. Ramzi Kevin Arefa is the one facing a life sentence.

The five remaining suspects are charged with aiding indirectly through the trafficking of weaponry and are subject to shorter sentences if convicted. One of the individuals will face an absentee trial as he fled to Tunisia fleeing judicial supervision. The trial will take place in Paris and the verdict is expected in December.

The Nice Terror Attack

On July 14, 2016, a 19-tonne freight truck was rammed into a crowd of thousands of people celebrating Bastille Day on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, killing 86 people and injuring 458 more. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian Muslim residing in France, was identified as the driver of the truck. The incident concluded with a confrontation in which Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot and killed by police.

The Untold Story of the Bastille Day Attacker | GQ
Spectators wounded after the incident. (Image: GQ)

30,000 people had congregated on the seashore to witness a firework show commemorating France’s Day when Lahouaiej-Bouhlel unleashed his rampage. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack just after the incident. On July 15, François Molins, the prosecutor for the Public Ministry, responsible for the investigation, stated that the attack had the telltale signs of Islamic jihadist terrorism.

Residence permit of Lahouaiej-Bouhlel
Identity card of the attacker.

An ammo magazine, a fake Beretta pistol, a dummy grenade, a duplicate Kalashnikov rifle, and a counterfeit M16 rifle were discovered in the truck’s cabin, in addition to the firearm used in the assault. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian national with a French resident visa and residing in Nice, was identified as the offender by French authorities. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a driver and delivery worker, had three children but had divorced his wife.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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