Francois Molins, the Paris prosecutor, also provided details of what exactly happened Thursday night in Nice. The attacker, he said, rented the truck on July 11 and was scheduled to return it July 13.
Here’s more from the Guardian:
He drove about 2km down the promenade, and fired repeatedly at three policemen when they confronted him near a hotel. Gun shots were exchanged but the truck continued for 300m – the police “eventually found the driver dead in the passenger seat”, the prosecutor says.
In the cabin was one automatic firearm, a charger, bullets, as well as a second automatic weapon. There were also two Kalashnikovs and M16s, also firearms, one grenade, one mobile telephone, and various documents which are still being examined. “We also found a driver’s card and and a card under the name”
He was born on 3 January 1975 in Tunis with residence in Nice, he says. The gunman was “a chaffeur and deliveryman”. “His ex-wife was detained at 11am this morning.”
Many of these facts were reported earlier by French news organizations using anonymous sources; they are now being publicly confirmed.
President Obama has ordered all flags at the White House, public grounds, and buildings across the country, and federal and military buildings abroad lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the terrorist attack in Nice until July 19. The flags were recently lowered for the shooting in Dallas last week.
President Obama will address the attack in Nice at an event at the White House Friday at 3:10 p.m. There, he is hosting the Diplomatic Corps Reception in the East Room. We’ll report on his comments here.
Francois Molins, the Paris prosecutor, held a news conference in which he said 10 children were killed in the Nice attack.
He said “202 people were injured, including 52 who are now in critical care.” Of these 52, he said, “25 are still in intensive care.” The numbers, Molins added, are preliminary.
Here’s more (via the Guardian):
The terrorist who drove the truck as you know was shot to prevent him from committing more criminal action.
They have managed to neutralize this person, thus avoiding further victims. I would also like to pay tribute to all state services who were mobilized following this attack.
He also, the BBC reported, confirmed the identity of the driver. The name is the same as those being reported earlier: Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old French citizen of Tunisian origin.
Authorities have raided Bouhlel’s home in Nice in search of evidence.
The Tour de France will continue Friday, despite the attack in Nice. The cycling race, now in Stage 13, passes through the south of France from Bourg-Saint-Andéol to Caverne du Pont d'Arc, three hours west of the deadly incident.
There was a moment of silence before the racing began Friday. Christian Prudhomme, the race’s organizer, explained why the race would go on:
We wondered about having a race today or not. But in agreement with the state authorities, we believe that the race must go on and we shouldn’t give in to the pressure of people who would like us to change our lifestyle.
The Tour de France will go on in sobriety and dignity.
Thousands of fans came out to cheer on cyclists, as event security continues to stay vigilant.