No fewer than 73 people have been confirmed dead and over 150 injured as a truck ploughed through pedestrians for more than a mile in a terror attack in Nice, France, as people celebrated Bastille Day, a major French holiday.
Bastille Day commemorates the storming of Bastille prison in Paris during the French Revolution of 1789.
Already the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the attack, local media reports in France claims.
Report stated that police shot and killed the driver of the truck and were already pursuing another suspect who is on the run.
Witnesses said they heard the exchange of gunfire moments before the driver was killed.
Police later announced that guns and grenades were found inside the truck, which drove over the pavement, drove directly into the crowd, mowing down hundreds of people who were watching firework display in the city.
Anti-terror police are already swarming the city and residents have been told to stay indoors.
“We were at the Neptune beach and a firework display had just finished. That is when we saw a white lorry. It was going quickly at 60-70 kilometres an hour,” one witness told the Daily Mail.
“People are running. It’s panic. He rode up onto the Prom and piled into the crowd … There are people covered in blood. There must be many injured,” Damien Allemand the reporter for local newspaper, Nice Matin, who was at the site of the attack, said “There is no hostage-taking. An individual drove a truck into the crowd. He was killed by police. Investigations are currently under way to establish if the individual acted alone or if he had accomplices who might have fled,” said spokesperson of the French Interior Ministry, Pierre-Henry Brandet.
The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, who was at the venue of the celebration when the attack occured, tweeted: “Dear people of Nice, the driver of a truck seems to have left dozens dead. Stay for now in your home. More info to come.”
“This is the worst catastrophe our region has seen in modern history. We now have to mobilise all of our services, all the psychologists, volunteers who are trained to help fellow human beings,” he later told journalists.
France has been under a State of Emergency since last year’s terror attacks in the capital, Paris.
No fewer than 150 people were killed in the attacks masterminded by ISIS. The state of emergency was due to be lifted on July 26.
President Barack Obama has released a statement describing the attack as “horrific.”
“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. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded,” he said.
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