France orders increased security across country - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

France orders increased security across country

Posted: Updated:
NICE, France -

The latest on the deadly truck attack in France (all times local):
    
7:15 p.m.
    
France's interior minister is ordering up reserve forces and increasing security measures across the country "because of the terrorist threat" following deadly attacks on a Bastille Day celebration in Nice.
    
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Saturday he would call up 12,000 police reserves in addition to more than 120,000 police and soldiers already deployed around the country. He said President Francois Hollande made the decision for increased staff and other measures because of the Nice truck attack that left 84 dead and 200 wounded Thursday night.
    
French security services have come under criticism after Thursday's attack, the third time that France has been hit by major attacks in the past 18 months.
    
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5:40 p.m.
    
Romania's foreign ministry says three Romanian citizens are missing after a truck driver deliberately plowed into a crowd in Nice during a fireworks display, killing 84 people and wounding over 200.
    
The ministry did not name the three in its statement Saturday, but said they were a family of a husband, wife and child. It said officials from Romania's embassy in Paris and its consulate in Marseille were still trying to locate the three.
    
The ministry said two Romanians were among the injured on Nice's seaside boulevard.
    
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3:45 p.m.
    
A neighbor of truck driver Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel in Nice says she often crossed paths with the man - and said he struck her as odd and unpleasant.
    
"I saw him four times a day," said Jasmine Corman, who has lived in the building for six months. "He wasn't very nice. ... He was handsome, but his face was miserable."
    
Corman, a hairdresser, said she had been to see the fireworks with her family on Thursday evening and was shocked by what happened, even more so when police stormed the building the next day.
    
She told reporters that Bouhlil had a "fixated look in his eyes." ''He was cold and never spoke to anybody," she said.
    
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3:40 p.m.
    
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says that the truck driver who killed 84 people when he careened into a crowd at a fireworks show was "radicalized very quickly."
    
The Islamic State group claimed Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel as a "soldier" on Saturday, but what is known so far about Bouhlel suggests a troubled, angry man with little interest in Islam.
    
Speaking to journalists at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Cazeneuve said Saturday that the case demonstrated the "extreme difficulty of the fight against terrorism."
    
The French government has been criticized for lax security at the show, which marked Bastille Day, France's national holiday. But Cazeneuve said that high security had been assured in the region - including at the Cannes Film Festival and the Nice Carnival.
    
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3:30 p.m.
    
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has helped clear up one of the questions hanging over the Nice attack: How did the truck driver who killed 84 people on the city's seaside boulevard manage to get the vehicle there in the first place?
    
Nice's Promenande des Anglais should have been closed to traffic on the night that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel tore through the crowd, sending bodies flying and crushing others under his wheels.
    
Speaking to reporters Saturday, Cazeneuve said that the truck "forced its way through by mounting the sidewalk" to dodge police cars that were blocking the way to the promenade.
    
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3 p.m.
    
France's three days of mourning has just begun, but the horror over the truck attack on Nice's seaside boulevard hasn't done anything to tamp down France's turbulent politics.
    
In an open letter published on the Nice Matin newspaper's website, regional council President Christian Estrosi - a member of France's opposition Republicans - described his country's current leadership as "incapable," saying he'd requested that the police presence be reinforced in Nice ahead of the July 14 fireworks display that was attacked but was told there was no need.
    
France is heading into elections next year, and the deeply unpopular French President Francois Hollande is facing challenges from within his party and from right-wing Republicans and the far-right National Front.
    
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11:20 a.m.
    
French President Francois Hollande has canceled his trip to Prague planned for next week following the deadly attack in Nice.
    
The Czech presidential office says it was informed about the decision by the French embassy in Prague.
    
Hollande was expected to meet Czech leaders on Wednesday. The stop was part of a trip to five European countries meant to discuss the future of the European Union after Britain voted to leave the bloc.
    
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10:51 a.m.
    
An Islamic State-run media outlet says the man who barreled his truck into a crowd in the French coastal city of Nice is a "soldier" of the group.
    
The Aamaq news agency cited a "security source" as saying the attacker "carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of coalition countries fighting the Islamic State."
    
The statement did not name the attacker, and the language implied that he may have acted independently. There is no evidence IS was involved in planning the July 14 attack.
    
The attack killed 84 people and wounded 200. The driver was identified as Mohamed Bouhlel, a Tunisian deliveryman known to authorities as a petty criminal.
    
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10:30 a.m.
    
The Paris prosecutor's office says that five people are in custody following the deadly truck attack in the French resort city of Nice.
    
The office released no additional information about the arrests; it was unclear who was in custody or why. Messages seeking further detail were not returned.
    
Eighty-four people were killed and 200 more wounded when Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel slammed his vehicle into a throng of fireworks spectactors on Nice's seaside boulevard.
    
The identities of most of those brought into custody were not clear. But neighbors in the Nice neighborhood where the Bouhlel used to live told The Associated Press his estranged wife had been taken away by police on Friday.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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