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When vehicles become weapons of terror

Truck smashed into revelers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 and injuring scores as its ploughed two km through the crowd

Published: Updated:

Transforming a vehicle into a simple but deadly weapon of terror - as happened to such bloody effect in Nice on Thursday - is a tactic well known to intelligence agencies.

A truck smashed into revelers celebrating France’s Bastille Day, killing at least 84 and injuring scores as its ploughed two kilometers through the crowd.

In Israel and the Palestinian territories, car-ramming attacks have featured heavily in a wave of violence that has killed at least 215 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese since October last year.

Western authorities have had to deal with three similar attacks in recent years: two in Britain and another in Canada.

Israeli rescue teams gather at the scene of an attack in which one person was killed and five others hurt on May 15, 2011 in Tel Aviv when a truck driven by an Arab Israeli ploughed into a bus and several cars. (File photo: AFP)

In May 2013, two extremists smashed their car into British soldier Lee Rigby before attempting to behead him on a London street in broad daylight.

The pair, who were of Nigerian heritage, said they attacked the 25-year-old fusilier to avenge the deaths of Muslims at the hands of British troops.

Just 18 months later, a man claiming to be acting in the name of radicalism ran over and killed Canadian soldier Patrice Vincent, also injuring a second man.

Shortly after, the 25-year-old Muslim convert, Martin Couture-Rouleau, called the police emergency line to dedicate his attack to the “cause of jihad.”

And in June 2007, two men in a burning jeep smashed into the main terminal building at Scotland’s Glasgow Airport. One of the men was jailed for life, with the judge describing him as a “religious extremist”.