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Man suspected of driving lorry had a history of domestic abuse

By Staff Reporter

Published 16/07/2016

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel
Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel
French gendarmes walk past a bike, clothes and mattresses at the site of the attack on the Promenade des Anglais

The suspected attacker in the Nice lorry massacre was a father-of-three known to police for domestic violence, it has been claimed.

The driver was named in reports as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old from Nice with French-Tunisian nationality.

Local media said he was identified from an ID card found inside the vehicle following the massacre.

A search was launched of his former home on Friday morning, as well as his former marital home. He was said to have separated from his wife in 2012.

Bouhlel was known to police for delinquency and domestic violence, but not on a list of radicalised people, according to the Nice-Matin newspaper.

He was reported to have hired the vehicle last Monday, taking the biggest from a fleet of lorries - a 19 tonne truck normally used for removals. Neighbours described him as withdrawn, saying he was "alone" and "silent".

Scores of people including several children died after the vehicle drove through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the city in the south of France.

Witnesses said the driver swerved from side to side as he drove for hundreds of metres along the Promenade des Anglais on the seafront, before he was shot dead by police.

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