Bastille terror attack: Tragic images in aftermath of attack

France is in grieving following yesterday's terror attack in Nice. Poignant photos of empty prams have appeared, along with mourners gather at makeshift memorials.

At least ten children were slaughtered in the Nice massacre, it emerged last night.

They were among 84 killed by a crazed Islamist driving a 19-ton truck through crowds of Bastille Day revellers.

Hundreds ran for their lives or dived into the sea to escape the bloodshed on the resort's famous promenade.

Last night France was left counting the cost of a third major terrorist strike in just 18 months. With more than 200 grievously injured and 50 'between life and death' in hospital:

A baby carriage is left on the beach a day after a truck mowed through revelers in Nice, southern France, Friday. Photo / AP
A baby carriage is left on the beach a day after a truck mowed through revelers in Nice, southern France, Friday. Photo / AP

The driver of the truck that killed at least 84 people in a terror attack in Nice has been formally identified.

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, was identified by newspaper Nice-Matin which cited local sources.

He was a dual Tunisian-French national who lived in Nice.

His relatives are also being questioned by police.

Police say terrorist's wife Hajer arrested and in custody as officers work on his motives and if he had accomplices

Neighbours of the man have described him as a loner with no visible religious affiliation, as forensic experts searched his flat.

The truck was rented on 11 July, and was due back on the 13th.

Inside the cabin, there were automatic fire weapons, two Kalashnikov rifles, bullets and a grenade. Earlier reports had suggested the weapons were fakes.

According to Nice-Matin, sources said Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel worked as a delivery driver, and had been a father for three years.

French prosecutor François Molins said that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was known to police and the courts "due to threats, violence and petty theft between 2010 and 2016".

He was "detained on the 23rd of March on 2016" and sentenced to six months, for a road rage incident. "There was an altercation between him and another driver and he hurled a wooden pallet at the man".

He had also been detained for "voluntary violence with weapon and that was in January 2016".

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Authorities were "not aware that he had ever shown a sign of radicalisation".

Investigators are still looking to find whether the man was working with accomplices.

They raided his home and Sky News later reported his ex-wife was held for questioning.

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."

Police investigators and forensic experts entered his apartment around 9.30am (local time) with an armed police intervention unit in support, and brought out bags of material later.

Bouhlel, who had been known to the French police since January, had been on the radar for six months for petty criminality.

A young woman lays a candle among flowers left by mourners outside the French Embassy the day after the terror attack in Nice. Photo / Getty
A young woman lays a candle among flowers left by mourners outside the French Embassy the day after the terror attack in Nice. Photo / Getty

It is understood he lost his job as a delivery driver when he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into four cars and had also been involved in a bar brawl.

Walid Hamou, a cousin of Bouhlel's wife Hajer Khalfallah, told MailOnline: 'Bouhlel was not religious. He did not go to the mosque, he did not pray, he did not observe Ramadan.'He drank alcohol, ate pork and took drugs. This is all forbidden under Islam.

'He was not a Muslim, he was a s***.

'He beat his wife, my cousin, he was a nasty piece of work.'

Yesterday, he was stopped by police just hours before he crushed scores of people underneath the wheels of his 25 tonne truck and fired shots indiscriminately at police and innocent bystanders.

People gather around flowers placed on the Promenade des Anglais. Photo / Getty
People gather around flowers placed on the Promenade des Anglais. Photo / Getty

He told officers that he was delivering ice-cream to the area and was allowed to park on the waterfront for several hours.

Wissam, a Tunisian neighbour from the same village as the driver claimed: 'On the Thursday night he was drinking with a colleague and they argued. His pal said you're worth nothing and he replied: 'One day, you'll hear about me.'

Speaking to L'Express he said: 'Look this is someone who drinks, smokes cannabis.'

A neighbour called Hannan, who lived on the floor below, said: "He always looked at me oddly. He stared at us and we avoided him.'

Another neighbour described him as shifty and unwillingly to make contact.

Also, it now seems that the guns found in the van were fake and the grenade inoperable.
'Why?' said Wissam. 'What was the point of that?'

It comes after Bouhlel was named by police as the terrorist who drove a lorry for more than a mile through crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city.

The attack left a trail of devastation, killing at least 84 people including 10 children, on the Promenade des Anglais.

After crushing scores of people with the lorry, the driver then got out and opened fire on the terrified revellers trying to flee.

Five police officers were able to end the attack by shooting dead the gunmen.

Mr Hamou, 30, said: 'My cousin is with the police. They took her way at about 11am this morning, for her own protection. She is at the police station now giving a statement.'

Bouhlel is understood have separated from his wife two years ago.

Neighbour Nassim, 33, told MailOnline: 'Bouhlel used to live in this block of flats with his wife and family. I lived next door to him.

'He was not a fanatical muslim. He drank alcohol, he chased girls, he went to nightclubs. He did not go to the mosque. He was not religious at all.

'He split up from his wife about two years ago. She is a lovely woman.'

Bouhlel had lived with his wife and three young children in a flat in a run-down apartment block in a poor neighbourhood of Nice.

He worked as a delivery driver, but is believed to have been fired recently after falling asleep at the wheel and crashing into four vehicles on a highway.

But he separated from wife Hajer some two years ago following a series of violent arguments, and he was said to have been depressed in recent months as their divorce had been finalised.

He had moved into a rented property nearby after their separation.

- News.com.au and agencies

- news.com.au

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