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Nice massacre claims one Georgian citizen

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, July 19
One Georgian man was found among the dead in the wake of the massacre in Nice on Bastille Day, which left more than 80 people dead and dozens more injured on July 14.

Georgia’s Ambassador to France Eka Siradze-Delaunay has confirmed the death.

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry identified the Georgian victim as Roman Ekmaliani, born in 1960.

Ekmaliani was a businessman who had lived in Belgium for several years.

Based on recent information, Ekmaliani was in Nice with his wife, who was also killed. Ekmaliani’s wife was a citizen of France.

Based on the latest information, the Tunisian man who drove his lorry into crowds of people in Nice researched the route in the days before the attack.

The reports say Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove down the seafront promenade area of the French city on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation of the attack.

Six people are being held in connection with the killing of the 84 people who were celebrating the national holiday.

French President Francois Hollande has called the attack 'an appalling act of terrorism' and officials have said investigators will seek to find out whether the Tunisian had prior links with extremist groups.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Lahouaiej-Bouhlel seemed to have been "radicalised very quickly", the BBC reported.

He was unknown to French intelligence services, although he had been in trouble with the police for threatening behaviour, violence and petty theft.

Tunisian security sources have told the BBC that he visited Tunisia frequently, the last time being eight months ago.

It is not known if he trained in Syria or had any help in planning the attack.

The Islamic State said the attacker was acting in response to its calls to target civilians in countries that are part of the anti-IS coalition.

Eighty-five of those injured remain in hospital; 29 are in intensive care and 18 of those are listed as critical.

Georgian top officials and relevant bodies immediately condemned the attack on July 14.