Heroes of Nice attack rewarded with Legion d'Honneur

AFP - [email protected]
Heroes of Nice attack rewarded with Legion d'Honneur
Nearly half of the Nice victims were foreigners. Photo: AFP

A cyclist and motor scooter driver who tried to halt the rampage of the truck driver who mowed down 86 people in Nice last year have been decorated with France's highest award.


The two men were among 22 people awarded the Legion d'Honneur in France's New Year's honour list. 
Franck Terrier chased after the truck on his scooter as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel ploughed along the Nice promenade on July 14, using the 19-tonne vehicle to crush people celebrating Bastille Day, France's national holiday.
When Terrier drew up alongside the truck he clung onto the cab and punched the 31-year-old Tunisian through the open window but failed to bring him to a halt.
"I was ready to die," the middle-aged airport worker, who received the Legion d'Honneur, France's highest award, told Nice Matin newspaper at the time.
Bouhlel was killed shortly afterwards in a shootout with police.
Alexandre Nigues, a cyclist who tried unsuccessfully to wrench open the door of the moving truck, also received the Legion d'Honneur, as did the two officers who chased the vehicle on foot and shot dead Bouhlel, ending his rampage. 
Several doctors and firefighters also received awards for their assistance to the injured.
The massacre in Nice was the deadliest attack in Europe in 2016 and is believed to have served as a blueprint for the December 19 truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.
Twelve people were killed in the Berlin rampage, the perpetrator of which -- Anis Amri, also a Tunisian -- had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
IS also claimed Bouhlel as one of its foot soldiers but never provided proof of his fealty to the group.



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