France pays tribute to victims of the Bastille Day attack

French President Francois Hollande has paid tribute to the 86 people who died during a terrorist attack on Bastille Day.

An Islamic extremist drove his truck through crowds of people who were watching holiday fireworks on Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais.

The memorial ceremony took place overlooking to scene of the attack.

In a poignant move, the names of all 86 victims were read out while 86 white roses were laid. The attack killed people from 19 different nationalities. The youngest victim was just two, while the oldest was 92.

As well as those who lost their lives in the tragic attack, another 400 people were injured.

Speaking to hundreds of relatives of the victims during a ceremony three months on from the killings, President Hollande said: “What was attacked on July 14 was national unity. It is the monstrous aim of the terrorists to attack some in order to terrify others, to unleash violence in order to sow division.

“Well, I tell you ‘no’, this evil enterprise will fail. In some families, three generations were swept away.”

He said the entire nation stood behind those mourning lost relatives in “compassion and solidarity”.

Many senior politicians attended the ceremony including the former president Nicolas Sarkozy along with Alain Juppe, who are both candidates in the Republican party’s presidential primary.

Cindy Pellegrini, on behalf of the victims, said: “Nice and all of France weeps for the 86 victims. Our sadness is unending.”

Ms Pellegrini, who lost six family members, including her mother and brother, in the lorry attack added: “How to live with physical wounds? How to live with moral wounds?”

On the day of the attack, a 31-year-old Tunisian extremist rammed a 19-tonne truck through a crowd of 30,000 people who had been gathered on the Promenade des Anglais to watch fireworks.

He was identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who was a divorcee with three children who lived in an apartment near Nice railway station.

Already known to officials, Mr Lahouaiej-Bouhel had hired a lorry from a rental company in Saint Laurent-du-Var, just to the west of Nice on the 11 July. He had been due to return it the day before the attack took place.

He drove the lorry for 2km through crowds of people, deliberately zig-zagging to kill as many as possible. Police finally managed to stop him, shooting him dead before the death toll increased.



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