At least 84 people were crushed to death and several injured in France's Nice city after a man drove a 25-tonne truck into a crowd watching fireworks during celebrations on Bastille Day (French National Day) on Thursday night, reported Reuters. Dozens are believed to be in critical condition, and the toll is expected to rise. Nice hospitals have appealed for blood donation for the scores of people injured in the attack.
The attacker opened fire on local police and was subsequently shot dead. Investigators found weapons and grenades inside the truck. According to documents found in the lorry, the attacker is a 31-year-old resident of Nice of Tunisian origin. A police official said he was known to French police for common crimes but not to intelligence agencies, Reuters reported.Condemning the horrific attack, President Francois Hollande extended the state of emergency in France by another three months. "Nothing will make us yield in our will to fight terrorism. We will further strengthen our actions in Iraq and in Syria. We will continue striking those who attack us on our own soil." Hollande said, referring to the Islamic State group, though the attack has not been claimed by any terror outfit yet, reported The Telegraph.
In an interview conducted only hours before the incident, Hollande had said that the emergency-like situation that has persisted in the country for the past eight months may end in a few weeks. On November 13, Islamic State group militants killed more than 130 people in Paris. In March, terrorists, linked to the Paris attack killed 32 people in Brussels.
Reacting to the incident, United States President Barack Obama said, "On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians."
The Ministry of External Affairs said so far, there are no reports of any Indian casualties in Nice. The Indian Embassy in Paris has opened a helpline and can be contacted on +33-1-40507070, spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
A French illustrator took to twitter to express his reaction to Thursday's incident.
India condemns the attack in Nice: