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On Nice’s Riviera, signs of normal returning after attacks

/ 05:52 PM July 19, 2016
Bastille Day attack memorials

Volunteers install items at a new memorial in a gazebo in a seaside park on the famed Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France, Monday, July 18, 2016. Mourners formed a human chain to remove flowers, candles and other mementos placed along the Promenade des Anglais as spontaneous memorials to the victims of the Bastille Day attack in preparation to open the westbound lane. AP

NICE, France—Joggers, cyclists and sun-seekers are back on Nice’s famed Riviera coast, a further sign of normal life returning on the Promenade des Anglais where dozens were killed in last week’s Bastille Day truck attack.

Under a blazing sun, there were few visible reminders of the carnage on Tuesday, save for a handful of flags flying at half-staff and a number of armed soldiers patrolling the promenade.

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Some of Nice’s beachside restaurants were reopening for business, and the final section of the Promenade des Anglais was set to reopen to traffic following three days of official mourning.

Late Monday evening, mourners formed a human chain to remove candles, flowers and other mementos honoring the victims of the attack, when Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove through crowds watching fireworks. Rather than dismantling the tributes to the dead, volunteers moved them from the spots where victims fell along the killer’s trajectory to a gazebo in a seaside park.

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Eighty-four people were killed in the attack. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday that 59 people were still hospitalized, 29 of them in intensive care, out of 308 people injured overall.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, who oversees terrorism investigations, said a search of Bouhlel’s computer had found a clear and recent interest in “radical jihadism,” adding that the attack was obviously premeditated though there was no proof Bouhlel was directed by an extremist network.

Internet searches on his computer included Islamic propaganda chants, the terms “horrible deadly accidents,” and the recent attacks against the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, police officers in Dallas, and the killing of two police officials in Magnanville, outside of Paris.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls was loudly booed on Monday as he came and went from a memorial ceremony on the Nice shore, an expression of widespread criticism of security failures.

On Tuesday, French lawmakers are expected to debate whether the country’s state of emergency should be extended for another three months. TVJ

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TAGS: Bastille Day Attack, Bastille Day truck attack, France, Nice, Promenade des Anglais, terror attack, Terrorism
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