Bastille Day Celebration Turns to Massacre in Devastating Truck Attack

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Police officers and rescued workers stand near a van that ploughed into a crowd leaving a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. The mayor of the French city of Nice said dozens of people were likely killed after a van rammed into a crowd marking Bastille Day in the French Riviera resort today and urged residents to stay indoors. / AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHEVALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

The truck after the massacre. (Photo: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images/USA Today)

ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH - Bodies are seen on the ground July 15, 2016 after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard TEMPLATE OUT.

77 reported killed, 50 injured. (Photo: Eric Gaillard/Reutrs/USA Today)

French soldiers advance on the street after at least 30 people were killed in Nice, France, when a truck ran into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Security forces after the attack. (Eric Gaillard/Reuters/USA Today)

UPDATE. The attacker has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31. Originally from Tunisia, Bouhlel was not on any French terror watch lists. He was considered by people who knew him as a loner and not particularly religious.

Today the death toll sits at 84. Another 202 people were injured in the truck attack and 54 are in critical condition. Ten of the killed were minors.

The weapons found in the cab of the truck were replicas and toys, none functional, reports the BBC.

At least 77 people were killed and more than four dozen more people were injured in a truck attack in Nice, France. The attack took place during the city’s Bastille Day celebration this July 14. The attacker plowed a truck through the crowds and chased people down as they tried to get to safety.

Police shot and killed the driver shortly after the rampage started. Authorities have not released the identity of the driver, who may or may not have been acting alone. Police say they found other weapons in the truck including firearms and explosives. Early reports indicated that 150 people were killed. The true number of deaths may be higher than 77 still.

“The whole area is pedestrianised and the lorry came down the south side,” said one witness to the Sun. “It crushed the crowd like a bowling ball. Everything in its path was crushed.”

“Thank God we decided not to take the young ones,” said Yves Lamorelle to USA Today. “I am the only one who went. It was completely crazy, the crowd panicked and everyone was trying to flee.” USA Today has a photographic account of the terrible event.

“I was having a drink but after a few minutes people started running toward us from the promenade,” said Lamorelle. “Then all the cafe terraces started to clear out in a scary type of chaos. The tables, the chairs, the glasses got turned over. People were stepping on top of each other without even knowing why.”

This is the worst attack on French soil since the coordinated attacks on Paris last November, which saw 130 killed and many more wounded. No organization has taken credit for the truck attack so far.

Nice’s mayor, Christian Estrosi, with other French officials, are warning people to stay inside for the night, until the city is secured.

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump and the President have issued statements following the truck attack.

“Another horrific attack, this time in Nice, France. Many dead and injured. When will we learn? It is only getting worse,” said Trump via Twitter. Trump also added that in light of the event he will postpone his announcement to select a running mate.

“On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians,” said the President. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those killed, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded.  I have directed my team to be in touch with French officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice.

“We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack,” he said.

This attack took place just days after the French Parliament concluded their inquiry on the state of national security in France. The inquiry recommended that France establish a unified intelligence service and bring together its major law enforcement and security agencies.

Bastille Day is the celebration of the attack on the French Bastille prison fortress on July 14, 1789, an early hallmark of the French Revolution. France’s Fête de la Fédération has been held on the 14th of July every year since starting in 1790.

truck attack christian estrosi

The Bastille Day celebration before the attack. (Photo: Christian Estrosi)

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Onthe Wall July 22, 2016, 10:23 pm

    This is interesting. I think in The USA people who are for GUN CONTROL LAWS will soon regret any gun control laws they put into law. Why! Here is the thing did this guy shoot anybody, NO so all the gun control laws in the world would have not stopped this. Well when these types of terrorist killings starts happening in he USA in a group the size of this one there would probably be 10 or 12 people with carry permits and they would have killed the sob very quickly. That is what should happen here in The USA. When these terrorists can’t get guns all they will do is make bombs and use them indiscriminately, then the number of people killed or wounded will probably double or triple, after all they could plant them ahead of time and blow them up remotely. In the early eighties in The Bronx a guy wanted to kill his girlfriend because she dumped him. What this sob did is very simple. He bought $2.00(yes 2 dollars) worth of gas and poured the gas in the bar/disco whatever it was. Well for 2 lousy dollars worth of gas HE KILLED 87 PEOPLE! When this type of crap starts many people are going to wish that the terrorists just had guns instead.

  • Al July 22, 2016, 1:58 pm

    Well to be in mental sync with anti gun people I think that there must be an immediate elimination of all objects called trucks that weigh more than a ton as they are way to dangerous to be left where some maladjusted human can use it to kill many people. All trucks should probably be eliminated. since the terrible truck killed many more than than any attack using guns it is obvious that they must be eliminated from society so that they can no longer be used to kill anyone. Forget about the fact that we could starve to death with out the ability to move food to where it is consumed.
    years ago I thought that I could take a truck, go to the nearest school, wait till the students are assembled to get on buses to return home and see how many I could run down. Surprises me that it took this long for that kind of threat to be used.
    Make some noise about the fact that the truck is not the problem and guns aren’t either! state the obvious, some people are not getting the message. Mental health needs to be addressed rather than vilified.

  • Mike Franklin July 15, 2016, 3:20 pm

    I regret using this horrible and tragic event to make a point that will be branded as political, but the point needs to be made: the truck killed no one; it’s driver killed dozens of innocent men, women and children. We do not need more extensive background checks on truck drivers, nor do we need to reduce truck gas tank capacities. We need to (first and foremost) understand that there are genuinely evil people out there, and take immediate, decisive and massive action against them.

    • Kenny K Smith July 15, 2016, 6:18 pm

      Well said Mike !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Andrew A July 22, 2016, 9:59 am

      Also ridiculous, even here, nowhere in the article to they call the act carried out by whom it actually was, an ‘Islamic Extremist’. Seems more and more, as these events are happening, the media seems to be blaming the device or vehicle and refusing with everything to call out the ‘religion of peace’ which is of course all about violence and condemnation. If Islam truly wants to be seen as peaceful, it needs a reformation just as Christianity had. We need to start calling a duck a duck, enough dancing around the issue, and call out the fact that over 35% (Conservatively) of Muslims in France alone agree with terrorist bombings. Enough is enough, shut down your borders and purge ‘refugees’ until you can simply vet the people whom are coming in. Simple, effective, squash the idiocracy.

    • spence July 22, 2016, 10:01 am

      I want to know why our lack luster phony of a president reaches out to the french because their people are being attacked but has he said one word about all the police officers that are being killed or the attacks on them. Nope nothing. He should be ashamed and removed from office..

  • lA July 15, 2016, 11:28 am

    Ban guns, or now trucks?…It really makes no difference when you have a quisling state that’s in treason with the nation: That’s what France has become. You can’t cure syphilis if you can’t even name the spirochetes.

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