Nice attack: At least 80 dead as truck rams into Bastille Day crowd
in terrorist assault in French Riviera city
At least 80 people are dead after a truck ploughed into a crowd of late-night revellers celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, in a terrorist attack described as the "worst catastrophe" in the French Riviera's modern history. French president Francois Hollande said France had been hit by a terrorist attack on its national day, "the 14th of July, the symbol of freedom."
The driver was shot dead by police after the truck barrelled down the famed Promenade des Anglais seafront, sending hundreds of terrified people fleeing and leaving bodies strewn in its wake.
French president Francois Hollande said France had been hit by a terrorist attack on its national day, "The 14th of July, the symbol of freedom."
"Nice is now hit. It's all of France which is under the threat of Islamic terrorism," he said.
"In these circumstances, we must show absolute vigilance."
Several children are among the 80 victims, while another 18 people are injured. It was unclear if the driver had accomplices, Mr. Hollande said.
"I have decided that the state of emergency, which was to end on the 26th on July, will be extended by three months," he said, referring to a measure introduced after last year's series of coordinated attacks in Paris.
"Nothing will make us give up in our will to fight terrorism."
The president of the Nice region, Christian Estrosi, said the truck was loaded with weapons and grenades. "This is the worst catastrophe our region has seen in modern history," he said.
Soldiers, police and ambulance crews attended the scene, while residents of the Mediterranean city, close to the Italian border, were advised to stay indoors.
"Investigations are currently under way to establish if the individual acted alone or if he had accomplices who might have fled," interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said, denying reports a hostage-taking incident had taken place.
ABC producer David Coady was among the crowds fleeing the scene in panic, and said he could hear screaming and loud bangs.
"People were tripping over in the commotion, there was a lot of panic," he told ABC News 24.
"People were trying to get into hotels, any businesses that were open, trying to take shelter, because it was unclear what was happening.
"With each bang that we heard behind us, people perhaps started to go a bit faster, people were tripping over, it was a very chaotic scene."