French minister criticized over Nice attack police claims


PARIS (AP) — France’s interior minister has acknowledged there was no national police presence at the entrance to the pedestrianized walkway in Nice during the Bastille Day truck attack that killed 84 people.

In what represents a backtracking from his previous claim that there was, Bernard Cazeneuve says local police, who are more lightly armed, were guarding the entrance where Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove his truck.

Cazeneuve on Thursday defended himself against charges in French newspaper Liberation he lied publicly about there being a national police presence at the entry point — with their cars blocking the road.

In a statement, Cazeneuve accused the paper of conspiracy theories and maintains that several “heroic” national police — who shot dead the attacker — were stationed further down the promenade.