80 Dead in Bastille Day Attack

Screenshot from Nederlandse Omroep Stichting
Screenshot from Nederlandse Omroep Stichting

A vehicle drove directly into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing 80 people and injuring over 100 more reports the Guardian.

A truck laden with grenades and small arms was driven into the pedestrian areas of crowds just finished watching the fireworks display as part of the celebrations for the French holiday of Bastille Day. The driver fired on the crowd as he drove into civilians, purposely swerving to hit as many as possible. A number of children are included among the victims.

“France as a whole is under the threat of Islamic terrorism,” French President François Hollande said in a press conference, “We have to demonstrate absolute vigilance and show determination that is unfailing.”

Hollande has extended the state of emergency that began following the attacks in Paris this past November in which 130 people were killed. The state of emergency had been scheduled to end on July 26.

Jihadi propaganda has advocated such a technique of mass murder for several years, including Al-Qaeda’s magazine Inspire reports the Guardian.

The French Muslim Council released a statement condemning the attack, reading in part that the, “odious terrorist act took aim at our country on the very day of its national holiday (Bastille Day), a day which celebrates liberty, equality and fraternity.”

The driver has been identified as a 31-year-old man of dual French-Tunisian nationality. He was a Nice resident, and was identified by police from an ID card found inside the truck.

Christian Estrosi, president of the region, has announced the city’s jazz festival and a Rihanna concert have been canceled after the deadly attack.

Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump has postponed a press conference in which he would have announced his running mate. Both Trump and President Obama have issued condemnations of the attack.

“Another horrific attack, this time in Nice, France,” Trump wrote on Twitter, “Many dead and injured. When will we learn? It is only getting worse.”

Trump also said on the Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor that if elected he would seek a formal declaration of military action against ISIS from Congress.

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

Anti-terrorism investigators have taken over the investigation of the attack in Nice.

Bastille Day celebrates the storming of the Bastille and is a French symbol for liberty and the end of the monarchy.

Anders Koskinen