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Nice attack: Second suspect arrested, attacker’s family under investigation

The Family of twenty-one-year-old Brahim Aouissaoui, who allegedly killed three people in the Notre Dame church in the French city of Nice, is now under investigation.

Also, French police announced on Friday that they arrested a forty-seven-year-old man believed to have been in contact with Mr. Aouissaoui the night before the attack.

In Tunisia, security sources confirmed the investigation into the family as his sister Alef revealed police had taken the family’s phones.

She told reporters that her brother had gone to the Notre Dame church soon after arriving in Nice on Thursday morning, and that he was looking for a place to sleep.

The family said they were surprised he had gone to France, where recent terror attacks have been prevalent, including  the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty, who had earlier shown students caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed before he was killed.

“He did not tell (that he planned to leave Tunisia) and we were surprised when he told us he had reached Italy,” Mr. Aouissaoui’s brother Yassin said.

He left the Tunisian city of Sfax in September and arrived in Nice by train on Thursday morning, according to French police.

His family said they did not think Aouissaoui — who was  seriously injured by police and hospitalised in a life-threatening condition — was capable of such a violent act.

However, French police have since provided what they say is the time-line of Thursday’s terror attack.

They said CCTV footage showed the man at Nice’s railway station at 6:47am.

The man turned his coat inside out and changed his shoes before leaving for the church at 8:13am.

After the 400-metre walk, he entered the church just before 8:30am and began his attack using a 30 centimetre-long knife.

The attack inside the church lasted roughly thirty minutes.

Police later examined the scene and found two more knives, along with a copy of the Koran and two telephones.

Meanwhile, the authorities have deployed thousands more security forces personnel to protect places of worship across France, even as the display of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in the country has sparked anger in many Muslim-majority nations.

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