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Nice community reels from terror hit

    A floral tribute to the dead in Nice
    A floral tribute to the dead in Nice

    Nice's Jewish community was in shock this week after Thursday's terrorist attack left one of its members dead and 10 seriously injured.

    France-born Muslim Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, of Tunisian origin, drove a truck into the crowds celebrating Bastille Day along the city's promenade, killing 84 people and injuring more than 300 before being shot dead.

    Among those critically hurt were Jewish sisters Raymonde Mamane, 77, and Clara Bensimon, 80.

    Ms Mamane was taken to hospital and put on a respirator but succumbed to her injuries on Sunday.

    Ms Bensimon had to have her legs amputated and remains in a coma.

    A friend of Ms Mamane described her as a "wonderful woman, dedicated to her family. Who would have believed that we would be here today eulogising her? It is a huge loss to the community and a great shock to everyone."

    Rumours that more than a dozen Jews were among the 84 people killed spread throughout the Jewish community on Shabbat.

    The Jewish radio station in Nice, which usually stops working on Friday night, kept broadcasting. "The situation was dramatic and we have broadcast 24 hours a day since the attack to inform our listeners," said the editor of Radio Shalom, Nitsan Yossi Ben Avraham.

    After the attack, many listeners called in to express their anger and criticise French authorities.

    "They're sad and angry. Their anger is much stronger now than after previous attacks," said Ben Avraham. "Like the rest of the population, Jews in Nice say there wasn't enough security on Bastille Day. Some say that police could have blocked the road with vans, like Israeli police do sometimes."

    Many were angry that fewer police were deployed than during the European Championship.

    "Listeners who called us say that during football games security was tighter. The terrorist wouldn't have been able to get a truck to the site."

    Members of a Chabad day camp were close to the area at the time of the attack. "We are praying for everyone who has been injured in this terrible attack," said Chabad rabbi Yossef Yitzchak Pinson.

    British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said he was "shocked to hear about yet another incident bringing horrific loss of life to many in France."

    France's Chief Rabbi, Haim Korsia, sent his "sincere condolences to the families and relatives of the victims affected by the terrorism in Nice. My prayers and thoughts accompany you."

    British Jews were among those who escaped the carnage.

    Joel Fenster, a former Noam Masorti Youth Mazkir and ex-Cambridge Union president, was in the area when the lorry ploughed through the crowds.

    He later to spoke to the BBC to give his eyewitness account and wrote on Facebook: "Thanks all for messages. Just got home. Safe now. Was metres from attack but spent last two hours hiding in alley then running home."

    Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was "ready to help the French government fight this evil until it is defeated".

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