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France terror attacker identified as 31-year-old 'loner' who rarely spoke

July 15, 2016 18:30 IST

The man who killed around 84 people with a truck in Nice, France has been locally identified.

The driver of the lorry was 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, according to newspaper Nice-Matin which cited local sources, who is from Nice.

The dual national is believed to have been known to police with a history of carrying out crimes including theft and armed attacks but he was not on a terror watch list.

Neighbours of Bouhlel described his as a loner with no visible religious affiliation.

They were quoted as saying that the 31-year-old trucker was a solitary figure who rarely spoke and did not even return greetings when their paths crossed in the four-storey block, located in a working-class neighbourhood of Nice.

Of those who were interviewed, only one, a neighbour on the ground floor, said she had had any concerns about him -- he was “a good-looking man who kept giving my two daughters the eye”.

At least 84 people were killed when the white 19-tonne truck slammed into the crowd on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice’s glitzy beachfront, as they gathered to watch a firework display on France’s national day.

A source close to the investigation said an “inactive” grenade was found inside the vehicle, as well as “several fake rifles.”

Image: French police secure the area as the investigation continues at the scene near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores who were celebrating the Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters