France Bastille Day Attack Leaves 84 Dead in Nice
By: Tyler West, Xiro Xone News July 14, 2016 Updated: 7:43 PM
A truck plowed through people who gathered for Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, killing at least 84 people and injuring dozens as it drove for more than a mile along the Riviera city's waterfront promenade.
The driver was killed by police and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the Thursday night attack on France's national holiday, which rocked a nation still dealing with the aftermath of two attacks in Paris last year that killed a total of 147 people.
The truck driver, a 31-year-old French Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, ploughed through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice last night.
Armed officers approached the cab of the lorry and fired through the windscreen and doors killing Bouhlet.
“The whole of France is facing the threat of Islamist terrorism,” the president, François Hollande, said. He summoned senior ministers for a defence council on Friday morning before heading to the scene in Nice.
France has declared three days of national mourning, starting on Saturday, and a state of emergency that had been due to expire next week was extended for three months.
“We are facing a war that terrorism has brought to us,” said Manuel Valls, the prime minister. “The only answer should be that of a united France.” Condolences poured in from around the world and officials in London and Washington said leaders were being briefed on the situation.
Flags were lowered to half-staff in Nice and in Paris, and Hollande extended the state of emergency imposed after the November bloodshed another three months. The government declared three days of national mourning to begin Saturday.
"France was struck on the day of its national holiday, July 14, the symbol of liberty," Hollande said early Friday, denouncing "this monstrosity" — a truck bearing down on citizens "with the intention of killing, smashing and massacring ... an absolute violence."