[Muslims mourn their dead after Bastille Day truck attack in Nice last Thursday.]
Paris: At least 30 of the 84 victims killed in the attack last Thursday in Nice were Muslim, the French Catholic daily La Croix said on Tuesday.
The newspaper added that 20 of those killed were of Tunisian nationality, the same as the truck driver Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who carried out the attack during the Bastille Day celebrations, Efe news reported.
Speaking to the newspaper, the imam of the city and president of the Union of Muslims of the Alpes-Maritimes, Otmane Aissaoui, confirmed the death toll belonging to the Muslim community.
One of the victims Bouhlel left behind was Fatima Charrihi, a Moroccan of 62 and mother of 7 children, who was a frequent worshipper at the Rahma Mosque in Nice, where Aissaoui is a preacher.
Among the Muslim victims were children, such as Mehdi, 12, whose twin sister is still in a coma, or Kylian, 4, who came from Lyon with her mother Olfa to attend the fireworks show, both deceased.
Faced with possible reactions of hatred in neighbourhoods and schools, Aissaoui said that to defend coexistence against isolation it must be remembered that these people died together, regardless of their religion.
An Iranian journalist Maryam Violette, who was present on the ground, had also claimed that many among those killed in the attack are Arabs and Muslims.
“There were so many Muslim people who were victims because I could see they had scarves over their head and some were speaking Arabic, one family lost a mother and in Arabic, they were saying she’s a martyr,” Violette, who works for the ZananTV, told the Guardian.
Many on the social media had taken her statements as evidence that the truck driver, a French citizen of Tunisian ancestry, was indiscriminate as he ploughed through the Bastille Day crowd near the French Riviera.