Today is the Quatorze Juillet, the French national Holiday, so it is a day when an attempted Islamic terror attack is to be expected in France. Paris seems to have dodged the bullet this year, but not Nice. This is a breaking news story, so undoubtedly the details will change before I even finish typing and posting it. Here’s a rough outline so far:
This evening, as celebrants watched fireworks in Nice, a large truck plowed into the crowd at speed, traveling a considerable distance before stopping. At least sixty people are reportedly dead, and dozens more wounded. After the truck stopped, the driver was shot dead by police.
Simultaneously an accomplice with a gun fired shots and took hostages. He is reportedly holed up in a nearby hotel.
‘30 Dead’ After Truck Crashes Into Crowd at Bastille Day Celebrations in Nice ‘Terror Attack’
Bastille Day revellers flee scene of truck attack in Nice
Reports on French tv that the driver of the truck was shot dead by police.
Witnesses describe there being “bodies everywhere”.
Panic in Nice as ‘Lorry Hits Crowd’
A lorry has struck a crowd during Bastille Day celebrations in the southern French city of Nice, media reports and witnesses say.
The incident took place on the Promenade des Anglais during a firework display, the reports said.
One image on Twitter showed about a dozen people lying on the street, some being tended to.
The local prefecture has urged people in the area to remain indoors, calling the incident “an attack”.
Some reports spoke of shots being exchanged between police and the occupants of the lorry but these have not been confirmed.
Social media video showed people running through the streets in panic following the incident.
A journalist with the Nice Matin newspaper reported from the scene that there was “a lot of blood and without doubt many injured”.
The Daily Mail (which has more details and a number of photos):
At Least 60 Feared Dead and Shots Fired as Lorry Rams Into Crowd Celebrating Bastille Day in Nice Leaving Bodies Strewn Across the Road in Suspected Terror Attack
A lorry ran down a large group of people in the southern French city of Nice during a suspected terrorist attack. At least 50 people are feared dead with more than 100 injured during the Bastille Day attack.
Eyewitnesses have reported that hostages have been taken in two hotels and a restaurant in the city.
Gunshots rang out in the streets, with gunmen targeting hotels and cafes in the port city as residents were warned to lock themselves in doors for their safety. Hostages have been taken in a hotel in the city. The RAID anti-terror squad has been deployed to the city.
Hundreds of people were watching fireworks along the promenade when the attack began.
It is believed the gunmen are holding hostages in the Meridien Hotel, the Hotel Negresco and the Buffalo Grill restaurant.
A lorry rammed into a large group of people who were celebrating Bastille Day before gunmen started firing.
A spokesman for the Alpes Maritime prefecture advised locals to ‘stay indoors’ as gunfire was heard, and a lorry was driven into a crowd on the Promenade des Anglais.
Eyewitnesses said there were ‘bodies everywhere’ with at least 100 people injured.
The truck driver is believed to have crashed his vehicle and jumped out and started shooting.
Police are also searching for an accomplice.
At this stage, police are describing the incident as ‘a major criminal attack’.
Sebastian Humbert, prefect for the Alpes — Martime area said: ‘A truck rammed into the crowd over a long distance, which explains this extremely heavy toll.’
He said the driver has been shot dead by police. They are currently hunting for a second attacker.
Truck Crashes Into Bastille Day Crowd in Nice, France
France’s national holiday turned ugly for revelers Thursday night in the southern city of Nice, as a truck reportedly crashed into a crowd of Bastille Day revelers and fears of terrorism spread.
Multiple videos posted on BreakingNews.com showed people fleeing in panic, though the crash itself wasn’t shown.
There also were reports of gunshots, though fireworks are often set off on Bastille Day, making such early witness accounts questionable.
Islamist terror groups, sometimes using native-French Muslims, have targeted France repeatedly in recent years and the use of vehicles and car bombs are among their known tactics.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility or mass carnage beyond what might happen in an ordinary traffic accident, but there are casualties lying on the ground, according to eyewitnesses.
Hat tip: Vlad Tepes.