Bastille Day Attack: Third day of mourning in France

A minute's silence will be observed, while in Ireland the national flag will fly at half mast

Bastille Day Attack: Third day of mourning in France

Nice | Image: Francois Mori / AP/Press Association Images

A minute's silence will be observed across France this morning, in memory of the victims of Thursday's terror attack in Nice.

In Ireland, the national flag will fly at half mast as a mark of respect to the 84 people killed when Mohamed Bouhlel drove a lorry into crowds along the seafront promenade during Bastille Day celebrations.

A book of condolences for the victims will be opened by the Lord Mayor of Dublin in Mansion House at 10am this morning. President Michael D. Higgins is expected to sign it later.

Meanwhile, EU foreign ministers and the US Secretary of State John Kerry are to meet in Brussels later.

Talks are expected to focus on the fight against terrorism in Europe in the wake of the attack in Nice, and relations with Turkey after a failed military coup there.

On Sunday, it emerged that Mohamed Bouhlel reportedly sent a picture of himself laughing as he mingled with the crowd hours before the attack in Nice. He also allegedly sent a text message 'discussing weapons' prior to the massacre in the resort city.

Speaking in Tunisia, Jabeur Bouhlel claimed his brother had telephoned him hours before the rampage and sent a selfie among the crowds.

He said: "That last day he said he was in Nice with his European friends to celebrate the national holiday."

He added that in the photo "he seemed very happy and pleased, he was laughing a lot".

The Tunisian-born killer, who had lived in the southern French city for a number of years, is also thought to have visited the site twice over the two days before the tragedy.

Around 85 victims remain in hospital and 18 of them - including one child - are in a life-threatening condition.
Meanwhile, a man and a woman were held in Nice on Sunday morning.

Their arrests follow the detention of five other people since the tragedy, including Bouhlel's estranged wife. She has now been released from custody.

Authorities are trying to determine if he acted alone but the country's prime minister has said he had been radicalised quickly.

Several people, among hundreds who have been questioned, said Bouhlel showed signs of being religious, according to a judicial source. But some of his friends and relatives have claimed he smoked, drank and never visited mosques.

Jihadist group Islamic State has said the lorry driver was one of their "soldiers". Officials have yet to produce evidence that Bouhlel had any links to IS.