At least 84 people were killed and over 100 injured when a truck plowed into crowds at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France on Thursday evening. Driving down the promenade in what was clearly an intentional terror attack, the terrorist ziggzagged to hit more people while shooting from the vehicle. The terrorist got out of his truck with the intent to continue his killing spree, at which point police were able to shot and kill him.
Few details about the attacker have been released to the public. The Nice Matin newspaper reported early Friday that the ID card of a 31-year-old Nice resident with dual French/Tunisian citizenship (Tunisian origin) was found at the scene and presumed to belong to the attacker. Officials have not confirmed this. Though the motives for the attack are still unknown, there have been reports the attacker shouted, “Allahu Akhbar”, before being shot dead by police.
The truck was reportedly loaded with additional weapons, an inactive grenade, and explosives, in preparation for a larger attack. The attacker drove for almost 1.5 miles (two kilometers) at an estimated 30 miles per hour. There were reports of parents throwing their children over barricades and fences to save them from the truck, as panic-stricken crowds surged to get out of the way.
French President Francois Hollande did not hesitate to label it a terror attack and called an emergency meeting of the Interior Ministry in Paris. President Hollande said he would request a three-month extension of the state of emergency declared after terrorist attacks in and around Paris in November. It had been scheduled to expire on July 26. Terror attacks by Islamists in and around Paris have killed 147 people in the past year.
US President Barack Obama released a statement, in which he, “condemned in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France.”