Site of Nice attack
Site of Nice attack Reuters

French police on Monday arrested 11 people suspected of helping to arm the Islamist terrorist who murdered 86 people in a truck attack in Nice this past July, sources close to the investigation said, according to AFP.

Ten suspects, including one or more Albanians, were arrested in various parts of Nice and another was detained in the western city of Nantes, the sources said.

The arrests come five months after Tunisian extremist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel plowed a 19-ton truck into a crowd on the Nice seafront.

The victims from 19 different countries were watching a fireworks display on the Bastille Day public holiday. Over 400 people were injured.

The 11 people arrested Monday are believed to have been in contact with three people, including two Albanians, arrested on July 6 and charged with supplying Bouhlel with an assault rifle and a pistol.

Bouhlel used the pistol in a firefight with police who shot him dead at the scene, ending his bloody rampage.

"They (the 11) did not necessarily know about the attack but they are part of a criminal milieu involved in arms smuggling," a source said, adding that the person arrested in Nantes had previously lived in Nice.

Under France's anti-terror laws, they can be held for four days before being brought before a magistrate to face charges or being released.

Six people have been charged so far over alleged links to the 31-year-old killer but investigators have yet to prove that any of them knew what he was planning.

The Islamic State (ISIS) group moved quickly after the attack to claim Bouhlel was one of its followers.

Investigators said he suffered from depression and appeared to have become radicalized very quickly.

The massacre on the Promenade des Anglais was the latest in a series of jihadist attacks that have rocked France over the past two years.

The violence began with the January 2015 attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris. It continued 10 months later with coordinated strikes on the capital's Bataclan concert hall, national stadium and cafe terraces.

AFP contributed to this report.

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