Italian police arrest man connected to 2016 Nice attack: reports

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was shot dead at the wheel of the vehicle he had used to kill 86 people in the Nice attack
Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was shot dead at the wheel of the vehicle he had used to kill 86 people in the Nice attack ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT AFP/File
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Rome (AFP)

Italian police have arrested a man suspected of supplying a weapon to the attacker who rammed a truck into a Bastille Day crowd in the southern French city of Nice in 2016, killing 86 people, media reported Wednesday.

The man, identified only as Endri E, is a 28-year-old Albanian suspected of having supplied a gun to Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the Tunisian who carried out the attack on July 14 -- France's Bastille Day national holiday.

Police arrested him at Sparanise, near the southern city of Naples, acting on a European arrest warrant issued by France, the AGI and ANSA news agencies reported.

The arrest comes after the Paris appeal court in March ordered eight people to stand trial for their alleged role in the 2016 attack.

The trial will not take place until 2022.

Bouhlel himself was shot dead by police at the wheel of the vehicle he had used to kill people as they celebrated the holiday on Nice's waterfront, wounding more than 400 people.

It came less than a year after the deadly Bataclan assault in November 2015 that saw 130 people killed in bombings and shootings across the capital.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Nice attack, although prosecutors said there was no evidence that Bouhlel had sworn allegiance to the jihadist group.