France observes one-minute silence to mourn attack victims

Paris, July 18 (IANS) One minute’s silence was observed all over France on Monday in memory of the people killed in the southern French city of Nice during Bastille Day celebrations on July 14.

On the Riviera city, thousands of people gathered in La Promenade des Anglais, a celebrated seaside promenade to pay tribute to the 84 people who were killed in the attack, Xinhua news agency reported.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls observed a one minute silence before being jeered by large crowd angry at the government’s failure to preserve citizens’ safety.

Video broadcast by BFMTV news channel showed the mass shouting “criminals” and “resignation”.

Last Thursday night, a 31 year-old Tunisian man drove a heavy duty white truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day. The truck careered two km through mass of revellers before being shot dead by police.

According to official data, 84 people were killed, including 10 children, and over 200 were wounded with scores remain in serious condition.

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the driver, had a record of violence and weapons offences but was unknown to the intelligence agencies.

Speaking to Le Journal de Dimanche on Sunday, Valls said there was no doubting over Lahouaiej Bouhlel’s terrorist motives.

“We know now that the killer was radicalized very quickly,” he said. “But, the investigation will establish the facts.”

Since Paris attacks in November 2015, France has raised security alert to the highest level with security measures tightened at transport hubs, religious sites and department stores.

However, the Nice carnage posed new tests to the government’s security and raised fears of anti-Islam feelings in France where five million Muslims are living, the largest community in Europe.

–IANS

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