Connect with us

World

Truck attacker kills up to 80 in Nice Bastille Day crowd

Published

 on 

Truck attacker kills up to 80 in Nice Bastille Day crowd | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Truck attacker kills up to 80 in Nice Bastille Day crowd
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


NICE, FRANCE: An attacker killed up to 80 people and injured scores when he drove a heavy truck at high speed into a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks in the French Riviera city of Nice late on Thursday, officials said.

Counter-terrorist investigators were seeking to identify the driver, who a local government official said opened fire before police shot him dead. The official said weapons and grenades were found inside the 25-tonne, unmarked truck.

The attack, which came eight months and a day after Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in Paris, so far appears to be the work of a lone assailant.

Newspaper Nice-Matin quoted unidentified sources as saying the driver was a 31-year-old local of Tunisian origin.

The truck careened for hundreds of meters along the famed Promenade des Anglais seafront, slamming into spectators watching the fireworks, listening to an orchestra or strolling above the beach towards the grand, century-old Hotel Negresco.

“It’s a scene of horror,” a local member of parliament, Eric Ciotti, told France Info radio, saying the truck had “mown down several hundred people.” Local government leader Christian Estrosi put the death toll at 77, while BFM TV later put it at 80. An Interior Ministry spokesman said “several dozen” had died.

Nice-Matin said 42 people were in critical condition and many others injured.

“People went down like ninepins,” Jacques, who runs Le Queenie restaurant on the seafront, told France Info.

“I saw people go down,” bystander Franck Sidoli, who was visibly shocked, told Reuters at the scene. “Then the truck stopped, we were just five meters away. A woman was there, she lost her son. Her son was on the ground, bleeding,”

Nice-Matin posted photographs of the truck, its windshield starred by a score of bullets and its radiator grille destroyed.

Since the Islamic State attacks last year, major public events in France have been guarded by troops and armed police, but it appeared to have taken some minutes to halt the progress of the deadly truck as it tore along pavements and a pedestrian zone.

Police told residents of the city, located 30 km (20 miles) from the Italian border, to stay indoors as they conducted further operations, though there was no sign of any other attack.

President Francois Hollande, who raced back to Paris from the south of France after the attack, was due to address a sleepless nation on television at 3:30am. Hours earlier, in a traditional Bastille Day interview, he had said an eight-month state of emergency might end in two weeks time.

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, a weary nation had breathed a collective sigh of relief as the month-long Euro 2016 soccer tournament across France ended without a feared attack.

Four months ago, Belgian Islamists linked to the Paris attackers killed 32 people in Brussels.

Police have denied rumors on social media of a subsequent hostage-taking in Nice. Vehicle attacks have been used by isolated members of militant groups in recent years, notably in Israel, as well as in Europe, though never to such devastating effect.

US President Barack Obama said in a statement: “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.”

HIDING IN TERROR

One woman told France Info that 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.”

Regional government chief Estrosi has warned in the past of the risk of Islamist attacks in the region, following the attacks in Paris and Brussels over the past 18 months.

Nice, a city of some 350,000 that has a history as a flamboyant resort but is also a gritty metropolis, has seen some of its Muslim residents travel to Syria to fight, a path taken by previous Islamic State attackers in Europe.

“Neither the place nor the date are coincidental,” a former French intelligence agent and security consultant, Claude Moniquet, told France-Info, noting the jihadist presence in Nice and the fact that July 14 marks France’s 1789 revolution.

“Tragic paradox that the subject of Nice attack was the people celebrating liberty, equality and fraternity,” European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok13 mins ago

83 Bangkok bars don’t meet safety standards

Politics20 mins ago

Anutin: “If I have to be the prime minister, I will be.”

Chon Buri31 mins ago

Cheap sound absorption panels believed to be cause of Mountain B fire

Sponsored17 mins ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand amongst Top 10 Best Countries for Expats | GMT

Tourism1 hour ago

55 tourists from Thailand go AWOL in South Korea

Eastern Thailand16 hours ago

German man believed to have monkeypox briefly fled police

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand17 hours ago

New app to help migrant women in Thailand facing abuse

Cambodia18 hours ago

Nigerian man recovers from monkeypox, handed to Cambodian authorities

World19 hours ago

Unusually heavy floods in Pakistan kill 549, thousands of homes damaged

Thailand19 hours ago

How to get the Thailand Elite Visa?

Transport20 hours ago

BTS is offering a free ride… with your mom

Bangkok20 hours ago

Fire at Energy Ministry’s compound in Bangkok

Phuket21 hours ago

2 meth busts in Phuket this past week

Politics21 hours ago

NIDA Poll: PM Prayut should not extend term after August 24

Chon Buri23 hours ago

Mountain Pub fire: 15 victims dead, owner arrested, club uninsured

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending