French officials reported that a truck hit a crowd after Bastille Day celebrations in Nice on Thursday, killing at least 80 people and injuring multiple others.
The truck drove 1.2 miles through the crowd. The incident occurred on the Promenade des Anglais after a fireworks show in honor of Bastille Day, France’s day to celebrate their independence. The driver of the truck, identified as being a French-Tunisian resident of Nice, was shot dead; several firearms and explosives were found inside the truck.
A reporter for the AFP news agency explained that after the fireworks were ending, they “saw people hit and bits of debris flying around”
An eyewitness told BFM TV: “Everyone was calling run, run, run there’s an attack run, run, run. We heard some shots. We thought they were fireworks because it’s the 14th of July. There was great panic. We were running because we didn’t want to stick around.”
President Francois Hollande addressed the nation after the attack, saying it was of a “terrorist nature.” The country’s state of emergency, implemented after last November’s attacks, was set to end on July 26, but Hollande extended it by three months. Hollande also reported that “several children” were among those killed.
“France is badly hit. All of France is under the threat of Islamic terrorism,” he said, also adding that “we need to do everything we can to fight against” attacks of these kind.
President Obama condemned the “horrific terrorist attack in Nice,” according to the White House. Presumptive Democratic and Republican presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, respectively, have also responded to the attacks. Clinton called the attack part of a war against “radical jihadist groups,” and Trump spoke about the United States being “weakly led,” saying that if he was president, he would make it “very, very hard” for people from terrorist areas to enter the United States.
About 50 people were injured, and 18 of them were critically injured. Officials are investigating whether the driver acted alone. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, prosecutors said investigations will be handled by anti-terror officials.
On Friday, France will fly its flags at half-mast to pay respect to the victims of the attack.