NICE, France (AP) — The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed the Tunisian man who barreled his truck into a crowd in the French resort city of Nice was a “soldier” of the group, the first claim of responsibility for an attack that has claimed 84 lives at a July 14 fireworks display.
The claim — circulated on social media by a news outlet affiliated with the group — didn’t name Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the 31-year-old Tunisian who authorities say was behind the wheel as a truck crashed into a crowd of revelers at a fireworks display on Thursday. But the statement quoting a security member of the group said the man was following calls from IS to target nationals of countries fighting it.
It’s unclear whether or not Bouhlel was acting alone. The Paris prosecutor’s office said Saturday that five people are in custody following the attack.
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 his estranged wife had been taken away by police on Friday.