If initial reports have it right, one of the first victims of Thursday evening's hideous terror attack in Nice was Fatima Charrihi, a Muslim woman, a mother of seven and resident of the southern coastal city.

Her son, Hamza, quoted in L'Express newspaper, said she had died almost instantly as the truck, driven by a Tunisian-born emigre with a record of petty crime, wheeled into the massed crowds on Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people and critically wounding dozens more.

Tearful and red-eyed, Hamza, 28, praised his slain mother and her faith: "She was an extraordinary mother," he said. "She wore the veil, she practiced an Islam of the middle ground. A true Islam. Not that of the terrorists." It's not clear from reports whether the Charrihi family, which is originally from Morocco, lost any more relatives in the rampage.

Her husband, Ahmed, told the newspaper that he had been some 50 meters in front of her when the truck, which police said was driven by 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, plowed into the crowd, "smashing things to pieces."

"She was with her nieces and nephews. My brother tried to revive her. But she died on the spot, doctors told us," Hamza said.

According to Boubakar Bekri, head of the regional Council for the Muslim Faith, at least 12 Muslim families in Nice are known to have lost loved ones. The city, a tourist hot spot on the Mediterranean, has a considerable Muslim population, mostly comprised of families with North African roots.

Whatever the motive of the attacker, he likely knew that Muslims would be among his victims.

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