Over 80 people killed in a terrorist act in France

Credits: Zuma Press

Credits: Zuma Press

14 Jul. — Yet another terrorist attack occurred in France. This time during Bastille Day celebrations. In Nice, the perpetrator first ploughed a lorry nearly two kilometres through a crowd and then started shooting. At least 84 people have been killed, and about 20 are in critical condition.

The tragic events began unfolding rapidly at approximately 11 p.m. local time. Nice is one of the country’s most popular tourist resorts. And it being a major public holiday, thousands of people were on the Promenade des Anglais.

The fireworks had just come to an end when, according to eyewitnesses, a white lorry drove onto the pavement and, without reducing speed, began crushing people in the crowd.

The police shot dozens of bullets into the lorry but could not bring it to a halt for two kilometres. After this, the criminal emerged from the vehicle with a gun and continued his path down the promenade on foot. He managed to run just about the same distance before being gunned down himself. However, later it was reported that the terrorist was killed in the lorry.

Although no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, similar situations where vehicles were used in France last year suggest that the Islamic State is behind the attack.

So far, what is known is that documents belonging to a 31-year-old French citizen of Tunisian origin were found in the lorry. It is reported that the police were aware of him, but only for minor offenses.

French President François Hollande has said that no one should deny this was a terrorist attack as it was perpetrated on a day which symbolises freedom. Furthermore, in his address to the nation he explicitly stated that Islamists were behind the crime.

The president said immediate measures were being taken for the mobilisation of the police and military as well as the use of reservists for maintaining order throughout the entire country. The state of emergency introduced in France late last year will now be extended for at least another three months.

Covers of today’s newspapers in France

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