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IS group claims Nice attacker as a 'soldier'

17 July 2016

Families have been sharing pictures of missing children online after the carnage which saw dozens killed in 75 seconds. Police found him dead in the passenger seat.

The 31-year old Tunisian, who lived locally, drove at a Bastille Day crowd on the waterfront of the French Riviera city on Thursday night. Reports say security services did not suspect him of links to terrorist or extremist groups, although he had been known to police for drug and criminal offenses.

"The claims underline a pattern in which ISIS seeks to inspire sympathizers to carry out attacks - with or without operational support from the group - and then claims responsibility for the carnage after the fact".

Accor Hotels led losers on the Paris market in shedding 3 percent as the French tourism industry fretted at the latest in a slew of recent attacks, while transport firms and luxury goods makers also fell back. Speaking after visiting the hospital where victims were treated, he also said that France was "facing a struggle which will be long".

President Barack Obama issued a statement and called it a "horrific terrorist attack" and said the USA had offered assistance in the investigation.

His court-appointed lawyer, Corentin Delobel, said he observed "no radicalization whatsoever", and Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Bouhlel was never placed on a watch list for radicals.

VOA producer Linda Ringe was staying in a hotel overlooking the Promenade des Anglais where the attack took place.

"We don't want to go home". ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks the next day.

There were so many victims early Friday that survivors grabbed tablecloths from seaside cafes to cover the bodies strewn across the asphalt. He made similar statements after attacks in January 2015 at a kosher supermarket in Paris and the Charlie Hebdo newspaper that killed 17, and again after the November 13 attacks in Paris on a rock concert, the national stadium and cafes that killed 130.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said high security had been assured in the region, pointing to the Cannes Film Festival in May and the Nice Carnival in February.

Michel Thooris of the right-leaning Action Police union blamed lax application of the state of emergency and said the government hasn't controlled borders. It's also unclear whether or not Bouhlel, who was shot dead by police that night, had been acting alone. He said France will strengthen its roles in Syria and Iraq.

The New York Times reported 84 casualties from the attack so far, and 303 injured people, 26 of whom are in intensive care, as of Saturday morning.

The attack was a "barbaric act", Hollande said after meeting with top officials in Nice.

An Irish man for whom there was concern following the attack has been confirmed as safe and well.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said he has been "shocked by the violence and exceptional cynicism" of Thursday's attack in Nice.

Her husband, John Lambert, said the couple was nearly struck by Bouhlel.

Her husband, John Lambert, said the couple was nearly struck by Bouhlel's truck.

U.S. president Barack Obama condemned what he said "appears to be a horrific terrorist attack" in Nice. The arrests, made in two different areas in Nice, targeted the attacker's "close entourage" according to Reuters news agency.