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Investigators piece together picture of Nice truck attacker

Investigators were Friday piecing together a picture of the father-of-three who slammed into crowds who had been watching a Bastille Day fireworks display, killing 84 people including 10 children and adolescents.



Nice: The 31-year-old driver of a truck who killed scores of people on the Nice seafront was a Tunisian petty criminal described by neighbours as an unfriendly loner who showed no outward sign of being a devout Muslim.

Investigators were Friday piecing together a picture of the father-of-three who slammed into crowds who had been watching a Bastille Day fireworks display, killing 84 people including 10 children and adolescents.

Anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins identified him as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, "a delivery man, of Tunisian nationality, married and with children" adding that he had a criminal record but no known terrorist connection.

His identity papers and a bank card were found in the truck and his identity had been confirmed by fingerprints, he said.

Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot dead by police at the wheel of the 19-tonne lorry.

As forensic scientists, backed by armed police, searched his apartment in a four-storey block in a working-class neighbourhood of Nice, neighbours told AFP they had little to do with him.

They portrayed him as a solitary figure who rarely spoke and did not even return greetings when their paths crossed.

Sebastien, a neighbour who spoke on condition that his full name was not used, said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel did not seem overtly religious and often dressed in shorts.

Only one neighbour said she had had any concerns about him, describing him as "a good-looking man who kept giving my two daughters the eye".

Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was often seen drinking beer and never attended the small mosque near his home, other residents of his home district told AFP.

"I never saw him at the mosque," said the caretaker of an apartment building as he sat in a restaurant next to the mosque, who asked not to be named. Three bearded Muslims with him agreed -- they had never seen the man at the mosque either.

Molins said that although Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had never been investigated by the security services, he was known to police.

"He had a police and judicial record for threats, violence, theft and acts of criminal damage between 2010 and 2016, and had been sentenced by the Nice criminal court to a six-month term, suspended, on March 24 2016 for violence with arms, committed in January 2016.

"On the other hand, he was totally unknown to intelligence services, nationally and locally, and was never flagged for signs of radicalisation," he added.

Lahouaiej-Bouhlel's wife was brought in for questioning on this morning, Molins said. 

From Zee News

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