French President François Hollande led a ceremony in the Riviera town of Nice to honour the 86 people, aged between 2 and 92, who died on July 14th when a Tunisian man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group drove a heavy truck into Bastille Day crowds walking the seafront.
The detained were all from the region around Nice in south-east France, suspected of helping Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel mount his attack on July 14th, when he drove a truck into Bastille Day crowds on the Nice seafront causing the deaths of 86 people.
A priest was murdered and one of his parishioners left in a critical condition by two knife-wielding men acting in the name of Islamic State group (IS) who attacked a Normandy church during a celebration of Mass on Tuesday morning. IS later claimed responsibility. The assailants, who had cut the 85-year-old priest’s throat in front of a small group of nuns and worshipers, and who attempted to cut the throat of a parishioner, were shot dead by police as they came out of the church in what is believed to be the first attack on a Catholic place of worship in Europe by Islamic extremists. Paris public prosecutor François Molins provided further details about the attack on Tuesday evening. Graham Tearse reports.
Since the Bastille Day massacre in Nice last week, in which 84 people died, never has the French mainstream Right employed so much energy into mimicking its far-right rival, the Front National, writes Mediapart political correspondent Hubert Huertas, who argues that the attack in Nice is in the process of fragilising French democracy, which is exactly what the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility, hopes for.
The Bastille Day attack in Nice, when a Tunisian immigrant from the city drove a truck into crowds walking the seafront Promenade des Anglais, killing 84 people, has heightened the already prevalent racial and social tensions in the Riviera capital. Ellen Salvi reports from Nice, where local politicians have long fuelled the fires of division that threaten to engulf the city.
Three new arrests were made on Sunday as French investigators attempt to establish whether Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the 31-year-old Tunisian who drove a heavy truck into Bastille Day crowds in Nice on Thursday, killing 84 people, received help from accomplices in preparing the massacre. Fresh evidence emerged this weekend suggesting he had carefully planned the attack, including CCTV footage of him reconnoitring the scene earlier last week. But despite a claim by the Islamic State group that Bouhlel was a "soldier" for the jihadist group, his motive remained unclear. Meanwhile, French health minister Marisol Touraine said on Sunday that “about 85 people” were still hospitalised after the carnage on July 14th, of which 18, including a child, were in a life-threatening condition. Graham Tearse reports.