Dozens Confirmed Dead in Bastille Day Attack

     
     (CN) — At least 84 people are confirmed dead after a large truck drove into a crowd of people who had gathered Thursday night for a Bastille Day fireworks show in Nice, France.
     On Friday morning, the Paris prosecutor said 202 people were wounded in the attack, with 25 of them on life support and 52 in critical condition.
     Details, as always after attacks are conflicting and uncertain. Local authorities, however, have confirmed that the driver of the truck has been killed by police.
     The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation for “murder, attempted murder in an organized group linked to a terrorist enterprise.” The probe is being handled by France’s intelligence agency and judicial police.
     Speaking from the White House Thursday night, President Barack Obama condemned “what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians.”
           “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,” the president said, adding that he’s offered French officals 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,” Obama said. “On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life.”
     Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he will delay his much anticipated announcement of his running mate, which had been scheduled for Friday morning, due to the attack in France.
     Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, made a rare appearance on Fox News to speak with anchor Bill O’Reilly about the attacks.
     “We need to stand strongly with [France],” Clinton said. “We’ve got to do more to understand this is a war against these radical jihadist troops. We need to be smart and we need to be determined that we are going to win it.”
     Clinton went on to say that one of the challenges in combating terrorists is that the United States’ European allies are reluctant to share intelligence.
     “We need an intelligence surge,” Clinton said. “And we need strong, tough diplomacy, starting with out friends.”
           Wassim Bouhlel, a Nice native who spoke to the AP near Nice’s Promenade du Paillon, said that he saw a truck drive into the crowd and then witnessed the man emerge with a gun and start shooting.
     “There was carnage on the road,” Bouhlel said. “Bodies everywhere.”
     Sylvie Toffin, a press officer with the local prefecture, said the truck “hit several people on a long trip” down the sidewalk near Nice’s Palais de la Méditerranee, a building which fronts the beach.
     Bouhlel said he witnessed the man emerge with a gun and start shooting, but Toffin said, “to my knowledge” there was no gunfire.
     She confirmed the incident was deliberate.
     “It’s an attack,” she said. She said she did not have casualty figures.
     CNN quoted an American witness as saying he saw one person in the truck, a tractor trailer, and heard gunfire, although it was not clear whether it came from the driver or was being fired at the vehicle.
     Several international news outlets are reporting that multiple firearms and bombs have been found inside the truck used to run down a crowd on the Promenade des Anglais, a seaside walk in center of the city in southern France.
     It was not immediately clear who would have been behind the attack, but France has recently seen a spate of dramatic assaults from by jihadist groups, including the Islamic State group which straddles Iraq and Syria.
     Local authorities are urging people to stay home, the French television channel BFM TV reported.
     
     Photo caption 1:
     French soldiers stand guard by the sealed off area of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who’d gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France, Friday, July 15, 2016. A spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry says there are likely to be “several dozen dead” after a truck drove into a crowd of revelers celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice. (AP Photo/Ciaran Fahey)
     Photo caption 2:
     In this video grab taken Thursday July 14, 2016, ambulances and Police cars are seen after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who’d gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice. Officials and eyewitnesses described as a deliberate attack. There appeared to be many casualties. (BFMTV via AP)
     
     – Developing story.

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