Alain Juppe
Alain JuppeReuters

French presidential contender Alain Juppe said Friday that the truck attack that killed 84 people in Nice could have been avoided if "all measures" had been taken, AFP reports.

"I am not an investigator. (But) if all measures had been taken, the tragedy last night would not have happened," Juppe, a former prime minister, told local RTL radio.

"Of course more must be done and done better. A start would be the intelligence services," the mayor of Bordeaux added.

A French parliamentary inquiry last week criticized numerous failings by the intelligence services over previous terrorist attacks in Paris targeting the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo magazine as well as the combined attacks last November that killed 130 people.

On Thursday, witnesses said a truck drove at speed for two kilometers (1.3 miles) through people watching a fireworks display in honor of Bastille Day in Nice.

France's Socialist President Francois Hollande previously described the attack on the palm tree-lined Promenade des Anglais as being of an "undeniable terrorist nature".

"We know of course that there are still flaws and shortcomings. The parliamentary inquiry after the November attacks showed that," he said, referring to the report criticizing France's response to the attacks.

"Government intervention is imperative in that area in order to better coordinate our intelligence services," he added.

Juppe, is a leading contender to be the right's candidate for the presidency in 2017, also called for a thorough probe into the attack.

"We must first shed light on the circumstances of this tragedy to the extent possible. I am not seeking to blame anyone at this stage naturally," he said, according to AFP.

Earlier Friday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that the terrorist who carried out the Nice attack in all likelihood had ties to radical Islamist circles.

"Yes, it is a terrorist act and we shall see what the links there are with terrorist organizations," he said.

The terrorist has been identified as a 31-year-old local resident, originally from Tunisia. Before the attack he reportedly asked for permission to park his truck near the boulevard because, he claimed, he was going to hand out ice cream in honor of Bastille Day.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)