- By Jessica McBride
A doll lays next to a child's body who was killed in tonight's Islamic terror attack in #Nice, #BastilleDayAttack pic.twitter.com/AAuZSVng0q— Roark Howard, Ph.D (@RoarkHoward_) July 14, 2016
A gunman – perhaps of dual French/Tunisian citizenship – drove a truck into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, on July 14, killing at least 84 people and injuring many more, including children, CNN said, citing the French interior minister. “There were dead bodies everywhere,” a witness told ITV, a British television network.
UK Telegraph, citing Nice-Matin newspaper, said: “The local newspaper, Nice-Matin, reports that the man driving the truck was a 31-year-old Nice resident of Tunisian origin. The truck driver was said to have shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ — God is greatest — before being shot dead by police.” CNN reported, though, that one of the first victims was a Muslim woman. UK Telegraph also reported: “The truck driver was known to French police for common law crimes, according to police sources, but not to the intelligence services.”
Although early reports said an additional 100 people were injured, BBC says about 50 people were injured, 20 of them critically. The newspaper in Nice, France is confirming that an identity card found in the truck led to the terrorist’s identity, although it hasn’t yet been released, CNN said; that identity card is of the French-Tunisian man with dual citizenship, said SBS media.
At least 70 killed in #Nice attack, and dozens more injured https://t.co/eEwnACMoZU pic.twitter.com/ihm5kgZGGl— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) July 15, 2016
The death toll increased when the gunman may have alighted from the truck and started shooting, a scene captured in graphic and heartbreaking eyewitness photos and videos on social media. The French president said the victims included several children. He said the driver was shot dead and that authorities are looking to see if there are accomplices.
The photos and videos posted on social media show bodies lying in the street and captured scenes of panic after the truck rammed into people for 1.2 miles (warning: very graphic).
“France has been struck on the day of her national holiday,” on a day that is the symbol of “liberty,” said President Francois Hollande. “France as a whole is under the threat of Islamist terrorism, and so under these circumstances we have to demonstrate absolute vigilance and show determination that is unfailing.” Hollande said 77 people had died, although Reuters and other media also said there might be up to 80.Footage has emerged showing the moment the alleged lorry involved in the #Nice attack driving down promenade.https://t.co/NeZKodrZXa— ITV News (@itvnews) July 15, 2016
CNN is reporting the occupant of the truck exchanged gunfire with police. It is not known if anyone else was shot; British media are reporting that there may be two terrorists, however many other accounts quote French officials as saying there was one gunman.
Damien Allemand,'Nice Matin' journalist: "Truck at crazy speed zigzagging to hit as much people as possible.Bodies flying like bowling pins"— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 14, 2016
UK Express cited French TV channel iTele, saying that the gunman who emerged from the truck had been “holed up in a nice restaurant downtown” but has been “neutralized” (killed) by police. For several hours, authorities were trying to determine if the identity card matched the terrorist who was killed, according to SBS media and other media accounts.
|Police officers and rescued workers stand near a truck that plowed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. (Getty)|
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Tunisia, where the terrorist appears to be from or have roots in, is a leading source of ISIS recruits.
The large box truck drove into the crowd at the Promenade des Anglais, witnesses said. The former mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, who is now a regional official, said there “appeared to be dozens of deaths,” said NBC News. Watch:
In French, Estrosi Tweeted, according to NBC: “Dear Nice, the driver of a truck appears to have made dozens of deaths. Stay for the moment to your home. More info to come.” ITV reported that French officials were calling it a terrorist attack and that “there are unconfirmed reports that there are gunmen on the loose in the city.” However, those reports did not materialize and may have been part of the confusion of the scene as panicked people ran from the carnage.
“All hell has broken loose in Nice,” a BBC reporter said. The world mourned:
Thousands share outrage and sadness with #PrayForNice https://t.co/ODXT2UofYD pic.twitter.com/laYhJ5Xain— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 15, 2016
Grenades were found in the attack, according to Le Figaro newspaper. Sebastien Humbert, a police official,told ITV.com, “A truck rammed into the crowd over a long distance, which explains this extremely heavy toll.” A man then emerged from the truck and started shooting, said ITV. Once of the most disturbing videos shows the aftermath of the attack (again, warning: extremely disturbing video).
French television reported that the gunman had been in the truck and ran on foot to a nearby restaurant called Le Buffalo, and an officer then shot him, UK Express said. CNN reported that people in the restaurant rushed outside with white tablecloths to cover the dead and that the driver had accelerated the truck.
Horrifying video shows revelers fleeing after a truck plowed through a crowd in #Nice. https://t.co/jpj46tYszJhttps://t.co/8Yzhni5n4H— Houston News (@abc13houston) July 15, 2016
There was no immediate identification of the people or groups behind the attack, but ISIScreated a hashtagapplauding the attack that it was encouraging people to use, according to Site Intel Group, which monitors jihadists.
Meanwhile, there was panic in Paris after thick black smoke was seen billowing out of the Eiffel Tower at the same time as the Nice attack:
Read more: http://heavy.com/news/2016/07/bastille-days-terrorist-attack-nice-france-photos-videos-watch-see-promenade-des-anglais-isis/