Date
24 May 2017
Bodies covered in sheets lie on the ground in the aftermath of the attack in Nice. Police shot and killed the suspect. Photo: NY Daily News
Bodies covered in sheets lie on the ground in the aftermath of the attack in Nice. Police shot and killed the suspect. Photo: NY Daily News

60 killed as truck driver mows down France Bastille Day crowd

An attacker drove a truck at high speed into crowds of Bastille Day revelers in the French Riviera, killing at least 60 and wounding dozens.

The suspect drove 100 meters along the famed Promenade des Anglais seafront in Nice before hitting the mass of spectators, Reuters reports, citing regional sub-prefect Sebastien Humbert.

He was shot and killed by the police.

Broadcaster i-Tele quoted the prosecutor’s office as saying the preliminary death toll was 60.

Local lawmaker Eric Ciotti told France Info radio more probably had died. Other officials put the number of wounded at at least 100, possibly more.

Humbert described it as a clear criminal attack, although the driver was not yet identified.

Residents of the Mediterranean city close to the Italian border were advised to stay indoors. There was no sign of any other attack, according to Reuters.

Almost exactly eight months ago, Islamic State militants killed 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13, the bloodiest in a number of attacks in France and Belgium in the past two years.

On Sunday, France had breathed a sigh of relief as the month-long Euro 2016 soccer tournament ended without a feared attack.

Officials were cautious about accounts from bystanders that the lone man driving the truck had also opened fire.

Amid chatter on social media of a hostage situation, police called on people not to propagate rumors that were hampering their work.

One woman told France Info she and others had fled in terror.

“The lorry came zig-zagging along the street. We ran into a hotel and hid in the toilets with lots of people,” she said.

Another woman told the station she was sheltering in a restaurant on the promenade with some 200 other people, where things had calmed down about two hours after the incident.

Regional newspaper Nice Matin quoted its reporter at the scene saying there were many injured people and blood on the street.

It published a photograph of a damaged, long-distance delivery truck, which it said was riddled with bullets and images of emergency services treating the injured.

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