80 killed in France terror attack, state of emergency extended

At least 80 people were killed on Thursday night when a large truck mowed through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice. French President Francois Hollande said the truck attack was of a “terrorist character”.

In a press conference on Friday morning, Hollande said “the state of emergency was extended in the country for three months beyond July 26”.

The driver shot into the crowd and then drove for two km along the pavement of the Boulevard des Anglais, the main street in Nice, mowing down people who had gathered to watch fireworks, regional President Christian Estrosi told CNN affiliate BFMTV.

Police shot and killed the driver, said Pierre-Henry Brandet, a spokesman for the French Interior Ministry.

Firearms, explosives and grenades were found in the truck, Estrosi said.

The driver is suspected to be 31-year-old man of Tunisian origin. The identity papers of a French-Tunisian were found in the truck, reports said quoting police source.

According to the reports, gunmen exchanged shots with police before plowing into the crowd of revellers. Footage captured by terrified bystanders fleescene has captured the sound of several gunshots being fired.

The eye witnesses said they watched the scene in disbelief.

“All we see is this truck along the boardwalk, just ploughing through people, just bodies getting hit and people running in all directions,” Tony Molina, who witnessed the attack from his apartment, told CNN.

He said that following the crash, there was a “barrage of gunfire”.

“There were families just laying down, crying next to these bodies. Then they had to clear the area out. The bodies stay there covered up,” Molina said.

Paul Delane, an American who witnessed attack, was with his partner at the Nice celebration. They had just finished watching the fireworks show and decided to walk towards the other festivities where a DJ was playing music.

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