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France reels as Bastille Day truck attack kills 84 in Nice

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The truck which slammed into revelers late Thursday is seen near the site of an attack in the French resort city of Nice, southern France on Friday. The truck loaded with weapons and hand grenades drove onto a sidewalk for more than a mile, plowing through Bastille Day revelers who’d gathered to watch fireworks in the French resort city of Nice late Thursday.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Forensic officers stands near a truck with its windscreen riddled with bullets, that plowed through a crowd of revelers who’d gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France on Friday. At least 80 people were killed before police killed the driver, authorities said.

  • BFMTV VIA AP

    In this video grab, ambulances and police cars are seen after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice today. Officials and eyewitnesses described it as a deliberate attack.

  • MAPS4NEWS / HERE / AP

    The location where a truck plowed into a crowd today in Nice, France.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Police officers seal off the area of an attack after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who’d gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France on Friday.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Police officers and a soldier stand by the sealed off area of an attack after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who’d gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France on Friday.

NICE, France » A Frenchman of Tunisian descent drove a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day along Nice’s beachfront, killing at least 84 people, many of them children. The slaughter ended only after police killed the armed attacker in a hail of bullets.

French leaders on Friday extended the country’s 9-month-old state of emergency and vowed to deploy thousands of police reservists on the streets after Thursday night’s massacre of pedestrians leaving a fireworks display for France’s national independence day.

Video shot by terrified civilians shows crowds fleeing in panic, leaping off the elevated pavement onto the beach below, and police finally surrounding the stationary truck and fatally shooting its driver.

Wassim Bouhlel, a native of Nice, told The Associated Press he saw a truck drive into the crowd, then its driver emerged with a gun and started shooting.

“There was carnage on the road. Bodies everywhere,” he said.

Police identified the attacker as a 31-year-old Nice resident and said he had drawn a gun on them. The truck’s windshield was riddled with bullets.

No group has claimed responsibility for the carnage, but French officials called it an undeniable act of terror. The assault on revelers in the southern French city rocked a nation still dealing with the aftermath of two attacks in Paris last year that killed 147 people and were claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

“Terrorism is a threat that weighs heavily upon France and will continue to weigh for a long time,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after French President Francois Hollande called an emergency government meeting Friday. “We are facing a war that terrorism has brought to us. The goal of terrorists is to instill fear and panic. And France is a great country, and a great democracy, that will not allow itself to be destabilized.”

Hollande rushed to Nice, 690 kilometers (490 miles) south of Paris, to offer his condolences after the emergency meeting.

“France was struck on the day of its national holiday, July 14, the symbol of liberty,” Hollande said Friday, denouncing “this monstrosity” — a truck bearing down on citizens “with the intention of killing, smashing and massacring.”

Hollande said it was not clear whether the driver had accomplices. The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation for “murder and attempted murder in an organized group linked to a terrorist enterprise.”

The truck knocked over and crushed pedestrians over a distance of two kilometers (1 ¼ miles), a lawmaker said. Broadcast footage showed a scene of horror along Nice’s famous promenade, with broken bodies splayed on the asphalt, some piled near one another, others bleeding onto the roadway or twisted into unnatural shapes.

The regional president, Christian Estrosi, told BFM TV that “the driver fired on the crowd, according to the police who killed him.” He said more than 10 children were among the dead, which also included two Americans and people from Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Some people tried to escape into the water, according to Eric Ciotti, a lawmaker who represents Nice.

“A person jumped onto the truck to try to stop it,” Ciotti told Europe 1 radio. “It’s at that moment that the police were able to neutralize this terrorist. I won’t forget the look of this policewoman who intercepted the killer.”

Flags were lowered to half-staff in Nice, Paris, Brussels and many capitals across Europe. Hollande announced a three-month extension to the state of emergency imposed after the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris that killed 130 victims. The government declared three days of national mourning to begin Saturday.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who traveled to the scene, said police were trying to identify the driver. “We are in a war with terrorists who want to strike us at any price and in a very violent way,” he said.

Ciotti said identification papers were found in the truck and that investigators were trying to determine whether they were legitimate.

Partiers in summer apparel ran for their lives down Nice’s palm tree-lined Promenade des Anglais, the city’s famous seaside boulevard.

Estrosi said some of the city’s 1,200 security cameras had pinpointed the moment the attacker boarded the truck, far from the seaside “in the hills of Nice” and could follow his path to the promenade. Estrosi called for the investigation to focus on any accomplices.

“Attacks aren’t prepared alone. Attacks are prepared with accomplices,” Estrosi said. “There is a chain of complicity. I expect it to be unveiled, discovered and kept up to date.”

France has lived with soldiers in the streets since the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, and much of the country experienced increased security during the monthlong European football championship that concluded July 10.

Damien Allemand, a journalist for the regional newspaper Nice-Matin who was at the waterside, said the fireworks display had finished and the crowd had got up to leave when they heard a noise and cries.

“A fraction of a second later, an enormous white truck came along at a crazy speed, turning the wheel to mow down the maximum number of people,” he wrote in an online account. “I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route. Heard noises, cries that I will never forget.”

On video, one person could be heard yelling, “Help my mother, please!” A pink girl’s bicycle was overturned by the side of the road.

Hollande said France would bolster its presence in Iraq and Syria, where he said earlier that military advisers would be on the ground to help Iraqis take back the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul.

In Washington, the U.S. State Department confirmed that two Americans were among the dead. President Barack Obama condemned what he said “appears to be a horrific terrorist attack.”

European Council President Donald Tusk said it was a “tragic paradox” that the victims of the attack in Nice were celebrating “liberty, equality and fraternity”— France’s motto — on the country’s national day.

France, one of the world’s top tourist destinations, has long known it is a top target for the Islamic State group. In September 2014, then-IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani referred to “the filthy French,” telling Muslims within the country to attack them in any way they could, including “crush them with your car.”

France is also Islamic State’s biggest source for European recruits. Nice was home for a prolific producer of French-language jihadist recruitment videos, a former petty drug dealer named Omar Omsen who is now fighting in Syria.

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    • No need towait , I am sure he is a Muslim in France legally. France is hopelessly undermined by Muslims already . When will we stop Muslim immigration?

      • The truth is that Muslim culture and religion is horribly inferior. There will likely never be true assimilation or cultural mixture. No one wants to say the obvious.

        • I’m surprised you would make a bigoted and racist comment like that. Shame on you.

        • The truth is that we still don’t know if it was radical Islamic terrorism…because they won’t tell us. We are on the receiving end of state-controlled media that isn’t getting the news that it wants…so, we get NO news.

      • I was right: Another darn Muslim immigrant – A Frenchman of Tunisian descent . Calling such a person “Frenchmen” is repulsive! He is and always was a North African Muslim who the French fools allowed into their country!

        • There here too in the good old USA waiting for the right moment to kill and maim. What is Obama and Clinton thinking.
          We must now endure long winded, meaningless speeches on rogue cops, gun control, black lives matter while the World is in infamy.

        • Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. Born in Tunisia not in any way a “Frenchman.” Witnesses say he was yelling “Alluha Akbar.” during attack. Obama will say there is no evidence of terrorism.

        • Anyone notice that one of the witnesses quoted in the story has the same last name as the perp? Wassim Bouhlel any relation to Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel?

    • What we are witnessing will be in the U.S. in about 10 years, if not sooner, if Obama and his party gets their way. Opening our country to immigrants from war torn countries without any means to vet them is ridiculous. France, Belgium and other European countries did so and look at them now. Europe is now the battlefield as immigrants with no desire to assimilate are fighting against a culture they do not agree with. I’m generally very pro-immigration but I think a sensible approach makes more sense. Yes, we are a country of immigrants but most arrived in a more orderly manner.

    • It’s not what our “world has become” it’s what our world has always been. It’s just now with 24/7, worldwide, online media coverage, it seems it’s gotten much worse. In fact, the pervasiveness of mass media to almost every corner of the globe has made terrorism even more influential since everybody knows about it. Trust me, the world is actually far less dangerous, if you go by violent death rates, than most other times in the past 2,000 years.

        • You don’t have to trust me. Do your own research into the number of violent deaths due to conflict worldwide over the past 2,000 years. You’ll find that we’re actually at a very peaceful, relatively speaking, period in history. There will ALWAYS be violent conflict around the world, but everything is relative, and relatively speaking you’re actually safer today than most other times in history.

        • He is a professional rookie poster who willfully fails to provide credible references to back up his shibai claims.

  • Yes, it is another terrorist attack in France on a National holiday on the beach with fireworks and crowds. Such a simple weapon, a large cargo box truck with armed drivers. No bombs. Just automatic rifles. Cops were present and armed probably with powerful automatic rifles. Still accomplishes their objective. Scare the Hell out of everyone and ruin their peace. Maybe now European nations will stop fooling themselves into being humanitarians and just say NO! to desperate immigrants. Canada and Obama, too. Brexit was approved at the right time. CNN reports the latest tally is 60 dead. More coming up. News technology at its best.

  • Any type of vehicles can be used as weapons. It doesn’t have to be a gun or semi-automatic rifle. It just goes to show that the real problem behind these types of terror is the person behind the wheel, behind the trigger, behind the knife.

        • The point being that Clinton and Obama have French blood on their hands? No, I didn’t miss it.

      • Get used to it. All over the world ten thousands of young impressible souls are indoctrinated and brainwashed in Koran schools to hate our civilisation, with the Koran their only book. There is only one remedy against this: Stop Muslims from entering our country and jail all their religious leaders here already.

      • Not quite what I had in mind. But, Obama and lying Mama could have stopped ISIS in their tracks when they had the chance.
        They took off and let ISIS take over.
        So there.

        • Clinton and Obama’s U.S. immigration policy has nothing to do with a terrorist attack in France.

        • Clinton and Obama’s idiotic Immigration policy is exactly like that of the EU that is currently destroying Europe…so, I’d say it is relevant.

        • Right. If you’re going to blame Obama and Clinton for a madman committing a mass murder in France, then what you’d say is relevant is ridiculous.

      • Cut the cheap comments and send Crooked Mama some money so she can run more attack ads. The kids one was hilarious. She should look in the mirror. She’s spending 10-1. Wall Street is not returning her calls.

  • Death count at 70 already and over 100 injured! I didn’t see the news with Obama and the Democrats screaming about gun control yet. I’ve been saying this over many times to all those anti-gun wackos.

    Guns aren’t our problem as terrorists will use any object they can get into their hands and by restricting EASY access to semi-auto guns forces terrorists to resort to far deadlier weapons just like they are in Europe.

    Timothy McVeigh bombing in the 1990s, 9/11 in the 2000’s and countless other bombings in Europe today apparently taught our stupid Democrats nothing so they keep going after guns while not looking at the consequences as a result like in Europe today.

    • We should ban all fifth wheel trucks (assault trucks), all trucks over 2 tons (assault style trucks). Implement a mandatory background check, a monthly limit on truck buying, a waiting period, and ban truck shows. Truck dealerships must be entirely indoors so innocent passers by aren’t tempted to buy a dangerous truck and they can’t be within 5 miles of a school. Implement a mandatory 12 hour class on responsible truck use before a truck license endorsement is issued. Every truck transfer will happen under the direct observation of the state DMV.

      • Once again, it was a short wait for the “let’s ban fill in the blank” after someone figures out a way to commit murder with something other than a firearm. It’s like waiting for the kid in the audience to challenge the ventriloquist and his dummy to talk at the same time. That kid thinks he’s devastatingly clever too.

        And, again, if you can figure out away to just as easily sneak your truck into a night club, a workplace, a train or a classroom and mash 50 people with it you might have something resembling a point. If not, you’re just standing there alone with your two sidekicks Haw-haw-hawwing.

        • Nice try. Eagerly awaiting Obama’s ban the trucks speech. The point being that the terrorists will kill using any means available. They drive the truck, fly the airplane, make the bomb and shoot the gun.

        • I could say I’m eagerly awaiting your arguments for against restrictions on private purchase of chemical nerve agents or C4.
          I’m all for private ownership of firearms but against silly arguments that detract from the serious ones.

        • That call only comes from the right side of the aisle and sounds even stupider than it would from the left if, for no other reason, than the fact that none of you would dream of giving up your truck.

      • Wow, glad you clarified assault truck by weight. I noticed on video clips that the most ISIS assault vehicle looks like a Toyota Tacoma with gun mount, just bought a Tacoma, got a little worried.

        • Don’t forget that Governor Ige will add you name to the FBI’s assault truck database so HPD will now know if you ever get a parking infraction in any other state and then they can revoke your right to buy fuel in the future to fill up your assault truck. 😉

  • Muslims are getting a bad name in America. They will soon want to be called Allah-Americans. Unpopular groups are nowadays allowed to change their original names.

  • I’m fed up with Obama’s all talk no action. Change cannot come too soon. Clinton? Same all talk, no action. I’m taking my chances with Trump. What you see is what you get. Not some old hag you can’t trust further than you can spit.

      • If the witch wins, your sister will end up hating Islam and Hilary in the end! haaaaa

        Funny truth: When women cease to attract men, they turn to Feminism.

        • Ohh, the always bitter illegal Mexican supporting klastri came out of the woodwork today. Just so you know, I love women Klastri. You seem to forget I’m a huge supporter of women’s rights. I’ve even encouraged for you numerous times here on the forums to encourage for you to go back to Mexico and become a freedom fighter to help women get their rights by allowing them to vote and allow for them to get abortions which happen to be illegal in Mexico but you still seem to be sitting back and not doing anything positive to help your people back in Mexico.

    • Islam preaches hate and condemnation towards women. Oh wait, so do these republican wingnuts like lespark and sarge. Are they reading the Koran? Wouldn’t it just kill these terrorist to elect a women leader to this great America! Let’s do it! Let’s go after these radical muslims. Elect a women then feast on BBQ pork ribs!

  • Don’t be surprised if it turns out to be the progressive democrat whipping boy. A white male christian heterosexual police officer targeted those who were killed just as they target a certain segment of american society. At least that is what they would have you believe. In any case the super-smart progressives will once again pretzel themselves defending the religion of the perp just as they always do.

  • France is lost to the Muslim hordes already they just do not know it yet. Watched the French President in his address in response. I wish these guys would stop using the word
    “Horrific” to describe these atrocious acts of barbarism. His words as usual were weak and ineffectual. These guys must be laughing at his weakness and those who think like
    him that foolishly believe that we can appease there savages. This is not how the Muslims previous attempt to take over Europe was dealt with. Their invading armies were defeated and they were driven back. We have the same weak and ineffectual leaders in our country who are allowing thousands of Muslims into our country without any kind of vetting and they are going
    to be a problem just as they are in Europe with their no go zones, refusal to integrate into the countries values and beliefs and desire to follow Sharia law which is totally contrary to
    our laws and Christian/Judea ethics and values.

    • Crooked Hilliary doesn’t care what the long time ramifications are. She’ll pander the Hispanic, Muslim, BLM, Convict, voters then leave them to fester like Obama did. After 7 years you see the end result. Chaos.
      Hard working Americans ending up in trailer parks, losing their houses and jobs to urban blight.
      4 more years? If that’s what you want, what’s in your wallet. She needs money for Bill to fly around the World looking for action.

    • Sharia law is allowed in Britain? Underground take-over of Europe is being carried that previous Muslims could not do during the Crusades era.

  • Seems to fall in line with the “Henoch” prophecies. “And it will be that the fanatics of Islam will rise up against the countries of Europe and all will shake and quiver. Everything in the West will be destroyed; England will be conquered and thrown down to the lowest level of misery. And the fanatics and warriors of Islam will retain their power for a long time. However, not only Europe will be affected but ultimately all the countries and peoples of the Earth, as the great horror expands to a war that will encompass the entire world.”

  • Time for all the European nations to round up all the Muslims and send them back to the Mid East or Africa where they belong. No room in modern society for these people w/a 3rd world mental state of mind and religion.

      • We’ll be back to the 1800’s if we don’t wipe out the Islamic terrorists and stop all the political correctness.This has to be the tipping point for the French.

        Western civilization is under attack. the elite/globalists don’t care about collateral damage.

        The French are going to revolt.

        • Go back a little further. See how well that “wipe out all of those religious nuts” thing worked for the Romans.

          So, are you guys calling yourselves elite/globalists? Because the last thing you seem to consider with all your “round em up” rhetoric is collateral damage.

  • According to the New York Times: “The Nice Matin newspaper reported early Friday that he was a 31-year-old Frenchman of Tunisian origin, but officials have not confirmed that.” You can’t suppress the truth forever.

      • Just learned that he was in the process of being divorced and had 3 children. He was in danger of losing his job as a truck driver. Probably the lure to visit with vestal virgins caused his marriage to fail. Used his employer’s rig as a weapon?? A favorite weapon used by Hamas against the Israelis are Toyota truck. Suicide trucks/cars/buses are also used in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Perhaps they should be outlawed as they are cause of all this violence.??//

  • Great moments in reporting: “Photos showed a truck with at least half a dozen bullet holes in its windshield.” There are 28! For Pete’s sake count em.

    • Something tells me that the journalist likely failed 3rd grade basic math in public school then somehow got a job working for HART hence the $12-billion dollar accounting folly that originally started at $2.5-billion and now somehow got a 2nd job reporting the news for the SA.

  • As Newt observed – anyone that practices the ‘Sharia Law’ should be banned from the US. Culturally, they can’t be assimilated into this country with these crazy beliefs. This is what Trump mentioned in the beginning when he stated that Muslims should be banned from entering the US and drew an uproar. He should have placed more detail into his statement that everyone took WRONG.

    Obama & Democrats demanded a bann on assault weapons after the Orlando massacre.

    The NRA/Republicans told them how ‘guns’ are not the problem.

    The Obama administration will now ‘bann’ Lorry’s/Large trucks ??

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