Tunisians, Algerians among dead in Nice attack


At least three Tunisians and three Algerians were among the 84 people killed when a Tunisian-born man ploughed a truck into crowds in the French resort of Nice, officials said Friday.

The attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old dual national, zigzagged through a crowd gathered to watch a Bastille Day fireworks display in the French city on Thursday night.

The mother of a four-year-old boy, Tunisian Olfa Bent Souayah, was killed in the attack and her son is still missing, said Tunisia’s foreign ministry.

Two Tunisian men, Bilal Labaoui and mechanic Abdelkader Toukabri, were also killed, said the ministry.

Two children from Algeria died in the attack, said Algeria’s ministry of foreign affairs.

A 70-year-old Algerian woman who was visiting her daughter in Nice was also killed, said the ministry’s spokesman.

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The Nice region on the Mediterranean, an hour’s flight from Tunis, is home to a large number of Tunisians and Algerians.

Tunisia “forcefully” condemned the attack.

It said the attacker, who police said held dual French-Tunisian citizenship, had committed an act of “extreme cowardice” and expressed solidarity with France against the “scourge of terrorism”.

It also said it was opening a judicial enquiry into the attack. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi called the attack “a barbarous act that made no difference between religions, no nationalities, nor countries”.

“I hope… that we will be able to tackle this terrorism, which is the disease of the century. The best response is solidarity,” he said.

Tunisia, like France, has faced a series of jihadist attacks in the past year, killing dozens including 59 foreign tourists.

Tunisia has been in a state of emergency since November 2015.

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Tunisian and French citizens are among the top nationalities who have joined jihadist organisations including the Islamic State group.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika expressed his “profound indignation” at the “horrible terrorist attack”. He called for more effective international counter-terrorism efforts.

Source: al-monitor.com

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