Death toll reports vary from 30 to 60 or more and are likely to be on the high side. Another 100 or more are injured.
France’s national holiday turned bloody and violent Thursday night in the southern city of Nice, as a truck crashed into a crowd of Bastille Day revelers, killing dozens of people and gunmen attacked several tourist haunts throughout the city.
“Dear people of Nice, the driver of a truck appears to have caused tens of deaths. Stay for the moment in your home. More info to come,” former Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said, according to a Washington Times translation of his tweet.
Wassim Bouhlel told the Associated Press in Nice that he saw a truck barrel into the crowd before the driver exited wielding a gun and firing at random.
“There was carnage on the road,” Mr. Bouhlel said. “Bodies everywhere.”
French TV stations had reported 30 dead by early Friday local time, but the Daily Mail said the death toll was 50, factoring in multiple running gun battles in a broad attack that appeared to mimic last fall’s Paris attacks.
Reports say several firearms and grenades have been found in the truck used in the Nice attack. Residents are advised to stay indoors.
12:02 AM “Just as the fireworks finished we saw a lorry drive onto the pavement. There was a massive panic there must have been somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 people on the Promenade des Anglais. There was an awful panic, people were running everywhere. We provided a refuge for some people, mothers, children. There were people lying on the ground who were injured or worse.”
11:59 PM “President François Hollande has cut short a visit to the southern city of Avignon and returned to Paris to chair a crisis meeting at the interior ministry, David Chazan reports from Paris. The French presidency said on its Twitter feed that the government had activated the inter-ministerial crisis centre following the incident in Nice.”
Mike “Mish” Shedlock