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French judge charges 3 more linked to Nice truck attack

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo taken on July 14, 2016, shows police officers standing near a truck with its windscreen riddled with bullets after the vehicle ploughed into a crowd in Nice, France. (Photo by AFP)

A judge in France has charged three men in connection with a terrorist attack in the city of Nice in July.

A judicial source said on Saturday that the anti-terrorist judge had charged the three with helping to arm a militant who rammed a truck into a crowd in Nice on July 14 and killed 86 people.

The three were arrested along with eight others on December 12 in Nice and the western city of Nantes. They were aged 24, 31 and 36 and were remanded into custody on Friday. The other eight suspects have been released.

A Tunisian national, identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, rammed the 19-tonne truck into the crowd, who were watching a fireworks display on Bastille Day. Reports said 400 people were also injured. Most of the victims were foreign tourists.

Apart from the three people charged on Friday, six have already been charged over allegations of having links to the 31-year-old Tunisian. Investigators, however, have not yet proved that any of them was aware of Bouhlel's plot.

The six people include an Albanian couple, Artan Henaj and Enkeledja Zace, and Ramzi Arefa, 21, a French-Tunisian national suspected of having provided a pistol for Bouhlel.

The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed after the Nice attack that Bouhlel was one of its followers. French investigators suspect the Tunisian had other motives.

"There is a combination of radicalization, a fascination for extreme violence and a background of psychological problems," said a source close to the case whose name was not mentioned in news reports.

Daesh had earlier claimed responsibility for attacks in the French capital, Paris, on November 13, 2015, when 130 people were killed.

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