Celebration marred by tragedy

As of this writing, the current death toll following the terror attacks in Nice, France has reached 84 (10 of which were children), as a lorry veered into civilians celebrating the annual Bastille Day. The vehicle drove for more than a mile, colliding with the celebratory crowd before the driver was finally shot dead by police. According to witnesses on the scene, the driver zigzagged the vehicle in order to kill as many people as possible.

The driver in question has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old French citizen of Tunisian descent. According to the most recent reports coming in from the Telegraph, Bouhlel was known to police as a career criminal.

It has been reported that Bouhlel had a gun in hand prior to being shot dead by police on the scene (a 7.65 pistol), and that, upon further examination of the vehicle, a larger gun and numerous fake weapons and grenades were found. Although known to police for a history of violence, there doesn't seem to be anything as of now linking Bouhlel to any known terrorist organizations.

New details emerge of attacker

As the world and continues to mourn the loss of life and come to grips with the shock of these events, new details have emerged in regard to the past of the attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. Also reported by the Telegraph, the 31-year-old truck driver responsible for the massacre that took place on the Promenade des Anglais is being described as a 'loner' who suffered from depression after his wife left him.

Investigators have since gone to question Bouhlel's estranged spouse, likely in an attempt to better understand the mindset of the driver who was shot dead by police following the horrific events that took place on the Promenade des Anglais.

At this time, it is still unknown whether Bouhlel had any ties to known terrorist organizations, however, as USA Today reports, there is a possibility that the attack was pre-meditated, and, as no outside groups have claimed responsibility for the attack, and no accomplices have been found at this time, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel could have acted alone in carrying out the attack.

Hollande extends State of Emergency

As hundreds remain hospitalzed, along with 18 critical in intensive care, French President Hollande has extended the State of Emergency by another three months. There was a possibility that Hollande would remove the State of Emergency (which has been in place since November of 2015 following the 130 lives lost after a wave of coordinated attacks in Paris), however, with this most recent tragedy, the State of Emergency will likely remain in effect for the forseeable future.

Hollande said that he would coordinate a meeting with the country's defense committee following the tragedy, after which, he and his prime minister (Manuel Valls) will go to Nice. In the meantime, extra law enforcement personell will be deployed, and national security alert system Vigipirate will be updated, as the world continues to mourn following what should have otherwise been a day of celebration.

Blasting News is covering the Nice Attacks all over the world. Read the reports here:
- Nice attacks in Portuguese
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