07/15/2016, 09.53
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Nice Bastille day massacre: truck plunges into the crowd, killing 84 people

Several children among victims. Some 70 injured, including 18 in serious condition. The driver mowed through the crowd for two kilometers and opened fire before being shot down. World Leaders express condemnation. Jihadists express satisfaction on social networks praising "crusaders who killed infidels". Hollande: The entire country "is under the threat of Islamic extremism."


Nice (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 84 dead, including an estimated thirty children, and 18 wounded "still in critical condition," is the provisional toll from an attack carried out yesterday evening at 22.30 local time in Nice in the south of France. 

The attack was the work of a driver on board a truck who plunged full speed into a crowd gathered to watch a fireworks display. The massacre coincided with celebrations for July 14, a national holiday. According to emergency services a further fifty people were injured but not seriously.

Local sources report that the driver mowed into the crowd in a  zig-zag  pattern for at least two kilometers along the waterfront, before being stopped and killed in a shout out with police.

From initial information it appears that the driver had an accomplice, but there are currently no confirmations of a second man. The driver opened fire several times on unarmed citizens. "Before being shot down - said the former mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, now president of the province - he opened fire several times".

Unconfirmed reports also speak of heavy weapons and grenades present on board the vehicle, even if they were not used in the attack.

An identity document was reportedly found in the truck belonging to a French-Tunisian citizen. A police officer said that "investigations are underway to discover the name" of the assailant.

So far there have been  no official claims of the massacre. However, on social networks members of the Islamic State (IS) have expressed great satisfaction for the Nice attack. "The toll has risen to 62 French crusaders and infidels killed in Nice, in France," read a statement released in the early hours of the day, when the toll was still uncertain. "God is great! God is great!" added a jihadist.

Meanwhile, global condemnation and condolences have been pouring in with leaders expressing expressing grief and dismay over the attack that strikes again at the heart of France, a country still shaken by the massacre at the Bataclan in Paris, last November, which killed 130 people. Among the first to comment on the attack was US President Barack Obama, condemning "in the strongest terms" what appears to be "a terrible terrorist attack." The new British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson says he is "shocked and sad, for the terrible events of Nice".  While, the president of the European Council Donald Tusk noted it is "paradoxical" that the terrorists struck while people were celebrating the values ​​of "liberty, equality and fraternity".

Francois Hollande said that it is an "undeniable terrorist attack." Among the first acts of President was the extension of the state of emergency, in force since last November, for another three months. "France has been hit so hard - added Hollande - and we must do everything possible to combat acts of this nature." The entire country, he said, "is under the threat of Islamic extremism".

The French Ministry of Interior denied rumors immediately after the attack of citizens kidnapped by terrorists; investigations are underway to find out whether the bomber acted alone.

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