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ISIS claims responsibility for attack in Nice, citing source

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(CNN) - The ISIS media branch claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 84 people in the French city of Nice, citing a security source within the terror organization.

In an online statement by the terror group's media agency Amaq and circulated by its supporters, it said the person behind the attack is an ISIS "soldier."

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, drove a truck through crowds on the beachfront Thursday, killing dozens and injuring more than 200 people.

The rented, refrigerated truck weighed about 20 tons.

French authorities detained five people Saturday.

They include the ex-wife of attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the Paris anti-terrorism prosecutor's office said. The other four are men.

France has not indicated whether the attack stemmed from a sympathizer taking direction from ISIS or an ISIS member sent to attack.

French President Francois Hollande, addressing his country following its third major terrorist attack in 18 months, described the assault as an "unspeakable act."

"We have an enemy who is going to continue to strike all the people, all the countries who have freedom as a fundamental value," Hollande said.

Bouhlel was identified by fingerprints after his identification card was found in the truck, authorities said. They did not release information about a motive.

He was known to police because of allegations of threats, violence and thefts over the past six years, and he was given a suspended six-month prison sentence this year after being convicted of violence with a weapon, authorities said.

His father, who lives in Tunisia, said his son showed signs of mental health issues -- having had multiple nervous breakdowns and volatile behavior, said CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.

The man was "entirely unknown by the intelligence services, whether nationally or locally," French prosecutor François Molins said.

"He had never been the subject of any kind of file or indication of radicalization," he said.

The attack was launched on a popular street that would normally be packed with tourists and residents on a sunny afternoon in July.

Just before the carnage Thursday night, hundreds, if not thousands, had gathered on the promenade to watch a colorful display of fireworks and live music for the national holiday.

But as the last firework fizzled, gunfire rang out -- authorities and witnesses say the driver shot from the cab of the truck -- and the truck accelerated down the crowded street.

Bouhlel began the attack at about 10:45 p.m., driving the truck into people. At one point, he fired a gun several times at three police officers close to a hotel, the prosecutor said.

The truck was rented on Monday and was supposed to have been returned Wednesday, Molins said, without saying who rented it. Surveillance video shows that about two hours before the attack Thursday, Bouhlel rode a bicycle to pick up the truck east of the city, the prosecutor said.

After Bouhlel was shot, police found a handgun and some ammunition in the truck's cab, as well as a replica handgun, two replica assault rifles, a cell phone and various documents, Molins said. In the trailer was the bicycle and some empty pallets.

Hollande declared a national mourning period from Saturday to Monday.

France was just preparing to lift its state of emergency, which was put into place in the wake of the November terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, the deadliest attack in France's history.

Nice is just the latest city to be hit by a terror attack. Istanbul, Orlando, Baghdad, Brussels and Dhaka in Bangladesh are among targets hit in recent months.

CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said "no country in the Western world is threatened more by jihadis and terrorism than France."

"This is a big step back here. They are absolutely exhausted after a year and a half of intense efforts to try and protect this country," Cruickshank said.

"The painful reality here is that if it wasn't going to be this promenade, it would have been any other promenade."

France had put intense security in place for Euro 2016, the international soccer tournament that just ended. No major attacks occurred during the event.

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