Friday 20 October 2017

The horrific reality is dawning on France: that terrorist slaughter is set to be the new normal

'The people of Nice, like so many others elsewhere in France, will wonder if this is the new normal.' Photo: AFP/Getty Images
'The people of Nice, like so many others elsewhere in France, will wonder if this is the new normal.' Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Mary Fitzgerald

Immortalised by countless artists, Nice's Promenade des Anglais - referred to affectionately by locals as La Prom - hugs the city's famous Baie des Anges, or Bay of Angels. "All of Nice can be found on La Prom," as a friend who lives there puts it.

That was the case on Thursday night when thousands gathered for a fireworks display to mark Bastille Day, France's national holiday. What began in celebration ended in chaos and blood after an 18-tonne truck ploughed for more than a mile through the dense crowd of locals and tourists, mowing down scores.

At least 84 people, including several children, were killed and dozens more injured. Shocking footage showed bodies lying scattered along one of the most beautiful seafronts in France. The driver of the truck, identified as a 31-year-old Frenchman of Tunisian origin, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was shot dead by police as he opened fire from the vehicle. Local authorities said the truck was packed with weapons and grenades.

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