Sunday 4 December 2016

France remembers 86 victims of Nice lorry attack

Published 15/10/2016 | 11:01

French President Francois Hollande arrives at a ceremony for the victims of the July 14 lorry attack in Nice (AP)
French President Francois Hollande arrives at a ceremony for the victims of the July 14 lorry attack in Nice (AP)

French President Francois Hollande has presided over a ceremony paying tribute to the 86 people killed when an Islamic extremist rammed his truck into crowds watching Bastille Day fireworks in Nice.

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The event took place on top of a hill overlooking the Promenade des Anglais, the scene of the massacre, in the presence of families, people injured in the attack, religious representatives, France's main political leaders and Nice local authorities.

The names of the 86 victims were read out and 86 white roses placed on the centre of the ceremony square.

Cindy Pellegrini, who lost six family members in the attack on July 14, recalled France's ideal of "liberty, equality, fraternity".

"Our sadness is undefinable," she said. "How to live with physical wounds? How to live with moral wounds?"

Mr Hollande said: "It's national unity that has been hit on July 14. That's the monstrous target of the terrorists - h itting some to scare the others, unleashing violence to create division, instilling fear to fuel distrust and stigmatisation.

"This evil project will fail. Unity, liberty, humanity, in the end, will prevail."

The attack killed people of 19 nationalities and including 15 children and teenagers. The youngest victim was two and the oldest 92, the President recalled.

The southern French city is still reeling from the attack.

"We will never forget, we need to think of the victims," said Marie-Helene Serat, a local resident working near the beachfront promenade. "All the local residents are touched ... Every morning I'm passing here and every morning I thinking of this tragedy."

Flowers, teddy bears and flags of different countries were floating on a makeshift memorial near the Promenade des Anglais.

Mary Kininmonth, a tourist from Scotland, said: "People need a place somewhere to go to express their feeling and their sadness."

AP

Press Association

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