Maclean’s answers the five questions Canadians were googling most often after the terror attack yesterday in Nice, France.
1. What happened?
At least 84 people were killed, including 10 children, yesterday when a man drove a truck for two kilometres through a crowd that had congregated to watch fireworks for France’s Bastille Day, the country’s most important holiday. Twenty-five people remain on life support, including at least three children. This is the 10th attack suspected to be linked to Islamist militants carried out in France in the last year and a half.
2. How far is Nice from Paris?
688 km as the crow flies, 932 km by car. People may be asking because of the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, by Islamist militants that killed 130 people. The November attacks were claimed by ISIS, but so far, ISIS has not claimed responsibility for the attack in Nice, which is located on the south coast of France, on the Mediterranean Sea, 33 km east of Cannes.
3. Who was driving the truck in Nice?
Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year old French man born in Tunisia, was driving the truck. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel worked as a deliveryman and lived in the working-class Abattoirs area of Nice. He had three children with his ex-wife, who was taken in for questioning after the attack. Like several other recent attackers, he has been described as not particularly religious and has a history of domestic violence.
4. Who is responsible for the Nice attack?
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, including Islamic State. However, supporters of the group are celebrating the attack on social media and many people are already blaming it for the attack. French President François Hollande, meanwhile, is facing criticism for his country’s struggling security services. Like every attacker with suspected links to Islamist militants in 2015, Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had contact with French law enforcement before committing his attack, but he was not being monitored by law enforcement as a potential militant. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest called on Europe to improve its intelligence sharing with the United States.
5. What time did the Nice attack happen?
Around 10:45 p.m. local time, the truck turned onto the promenade and began ramming into people. The driver made it two kilometres along the promenade before being shot and killed by police in front of the Casino du Palais de la méditerranée.
The Bastille Day fireworks display that preceded the attack.