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Eight people to stand trial for role in 2016 Bastille Day attack

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By Euronews  with AP
Mourners leave flowers where people were killed along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in 2016
Mourners leave flowers where people were killed along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in 2016   -   Copyright  Claude Paris/Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.   -  

Six years after the attack in Nice, eight defendants will appear on Monday before the special court of Paris for a new extraordinary terrorist trial, scheduled to last more than three months.

This attack on the Promenade des Anglais, on the evening of Bastille Day -- the French National Day -- left 86 dead, including 15 children and adolescents, and more than 450 injured. 

This is the second deadliest attack on French soil after those of 13 November 2015.

Symbolically, the trial will take place in a special "tailor-made" courtroom built for the 13 November trial -- known as "V13" -- in the capital's historic courthouse.

A total of 865 people joined the trial as civil parties at the end of August, while others will be able to do so during the hearing. For those who cannot come to Paris, the trial will be broadcast at the Acropolis convention centre in Nice.

The perpetrator, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian, was shot on-site during the attack back in 2016.

On 14 July, driving a 19-tonne lorry, he drove into the crowd gathered to attend the fireworks and concerts organised that evening on the famous avenue in Nice. He was killed there by the police.

The attack -- a year and a half after the Charlie-Hebdo attack and eight months after those of 13 November -- had been claimed by the so-called Islamic State organisation. 

The investigation established that the claim was "purely opportunistic," after failing to establish a direct link between the perpetrator and the jihadist group.