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


NICE, France (AP) — 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.

Some of Nice’s beachside restaurants were reopening for business, and the final section of the road 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, in which 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.

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.

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 term “horrible deadly accidents,” and the recent attacks against a 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.

Meanwhile, relatives of three of the victims were preparing Tuesday to perform a ceremony for their dead at a mosque in the eastern Nice suburb of Ariane. Also Tuesday, Germany’s foreign minister said two students and a teacher from a Berlin school were killed in the attacks. Another student was injured and continues to receive treatment.

“This terrible attack shows that terror is directed against everyone without distinction,” said Frank-Walter Steinmeier.