The country of France is once more united in mourning after what officials are labeling a terror attack in Nice took the lives of 84 people. A driver of a large truck filled with weapons ran down revelers who were celebrating the country’s Bastille Day as they watched fireworks.
Details surrounding the attack are still developing but what outlets are reporting is that a lone driver of a truck approached crowds gathered at the Promenade des Anglais for the annual Bastille Day celebrations Thursday night.
The driver, who has been identified as 31-year-old French Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, fired a gun at the gatherers before mowing down dozens of people including two Americans. A brave motorcyclist tried to stop the truck but couldn’t get close enough to the door. Reports say that the driver was a divorced delivery truck driver.
BBC News reports:
The driver ploughed on for 2km (1.2 miles) on the Promenade des Anglais at about 23:00 local time on Thursday, before being shot dead by police.
Witnesses say the lorry swerved in an apparent attempt to hit more people.
Guns and a grenade found inside the lorry were reported to be fakes.
President Francois Hollande, who has now arrived in Nice, said the attack was of “an undeniable terrorist nature”.
A state of emergency, in place since November’s Paris attacks carried out by militants from the so-called Islamic State group, in which 130 people died, has been extended by three months.
The Guardian adds that this is the third attack endured by France in the past 18 months alone. There are growing calls from local figures, including the socially conservative National Front group, to declare a war against what they named as Islamic fundamentalism.
The Americans that were killed were 51-year-old Sean Copeland, and his 11-year-old son, Brodie, from Austin, Texas. Copeland was there with his family on vacation, and news of the death has spread throughout the city and state with glowing words in tribute continuing to pour out on social media according to a report from the Austin American-Statesman.
Below we’ve gathered some of the online reaction via Twitter that can be viewed on the following pages.
Photo: screen cap