Mohamed Merah
Mohamed Merah in a broadcast on the France 2 television channel (Reuters) Screenshot

Local authorities in the city of Nice have made an appeal to a French court to amend the civil registry of a baby named Mohamed Nizar Merah, namesake of Islamic jihadist Mohamed Merah. The city is still recovering from the 14 July terror attack, responsibility for which was claimed by Islamic State (Isis).

Some 86 people were killed and 434 injured when an armed terrorist drove a truck through a Bastille Day celebration.

The former mayor of Nice announced on Friday (18 November 2016) that he appealed to the court to change the civil status of a baby registered at the beginning of November under the name Mohamed Nizar Merah – evoking that of terrorist Mohamed Merah, who went on a motorcycle shooting rampage in 2012 , killing three soldiers, a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France.

"While our city has been hit hard by an attack this summer and its inhabitants are still bruised, it is unacceptable to see such actions.

"It is for this reason that we have alerted the prosecutor to take the right measures to modify this birth certificate whose content infringes our Republic," Christian Estrosi, the former mayor of Nice and the current president of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, said in a statement.

On 11 March 2012, Merah killed paratrooper Master Sergeant Imad Ibn-Ziaten in Toulouse, which he followed with a second attack on two soldiers two days later in Montauban.

On 19 March that year, he opened fire at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, killing one adult and three children. Merah later claimed he killed the soldiers and the Jewish schoolchildren because of France's involvement in the war in Afghanistan and as revenge for the attacks in Palestine respectively.

France recently marked the first anniversary of the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks at the Bataclan theatre that saw scores of people killed.