Nice terror attack condemned by US President Barack Obama

July 15, 2016 7:42 am

Police officers carry out checks on vehicles in the center of French Riviera town of Nice on July 14, 2016. (AFP)

has been briefed on a deadly attack in the French city of Nice, the White House says.
After a truck rammed into
people celebrating the French National Day, commonly known as the
Bastille Day, US National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said
Obama had been notified of the attack.
“The
president has been apprised of the situation in Nice, France, and his
national security team will update him, as appropriate,” Price said.
Later, Obama released a statement, saying, “I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack.”
He
added that the he has been in touch with French officials and “offered
any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack.”
“We
stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as
they respond to and recover from this attack,” stated the US president.
“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.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry also released a statement, censuring those behind the “horrendous” attack.
“Today’s
horrendous attack in Nice is an attack against innocent people on a day
that celebrates Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity,” it read. I was
proud to stand alongside French leaders earlier today at Bastille Day
celebrations in Paris, and the will continue to stand
firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy. We will
provide whatever support is needed.
Republican candidate Donald Trump was another high-profile American to react to the attack.
“Another
horrific attack, this time in Nice, France. Many dead and injured. When
will we learn? It is only getting worse,” he said in a tweet.
In another tweet, Trump postponed a conference concerning his vice presidential announcement.

At least 84 have lost their
lives and some 50 others sustained injuries when a truck ran through a
crowd of people celebrating the French National Day, commonly known as
the Bastille Day, in the southern French city of Nice.

The
truck rammed into the crowd on Thursday night as people had converged
on the Promenade des Anglais in the city during a firework display.
 Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said Friday that 18 people are in critical condition.

Nice
Mayor Christian Estrosi, who was attending the celebration at the time
of the assault, tweeted, “Dear people of Nice, the driver of a truck
seems to have left dozens dead. Stay for now in your home.”

Estosi described the incident as “the worst tragedy in the history of Nice.”

The
local government chief further noted that weapons and grenades were
found inside the truck after the driver was shot and killed.
AFP
quoted a police source as identifying the driver as a 31-year-old man
from Nice of Tunisian origin. “The identification of the truck driver is
still underway,” he said.

This photo allegedly shows the truck that plowed into the crowd.An
image published on Twitter showed a white lorry stopped in the middle
of the promenade with its front badly damaged. Four police officers were
also taking cover behind a palm tree.
Another picture showed a
dozen people lying on the street in the aftermath of the truck attack.
Social media video also showed people running through the streets in
panic.

Medics tend to the victims of an attack in the southern French city of Nice on July 14, 2016.“Everyone
was calling run, run, run there’s an attack run, run, run. We heard
some shots. We thought they were fireworks because it’s July 14,” an
eyewitness told BFM television news network.
“There was great
panic. We were running too because we didn’t want to stick around and we
went into a hotel to get to safety,” the witness added.
There
were some reports of gunfire exchange between security forces and the
occupants of the lorry, but they have not been confirmed.

Bodies
are seen on the ground after a van plowed into a crowd in the French
Riviera town of Nice, killing 80 people, July 14, 2016. ©Reuters
A spokesman for the French Interior Ministry also dismissed reports of a hostage situation in Nice.
‘Terrorist attack’
Meanwhile,
French President Francois Hollande, who was in the southeastern commune
of Avignon, returned to Paris to join crisis meetings at the Interior
Ministry.
Later in comments broadcast live on TV, the French president said the truck attack in Nice was of a “terrorist character”.

“Nothing
will make us yield in our will to fight . We will further
strengthen our actions in Iraq and in Syria. We will continue striking
those who attack us on our own soil,” he said, in reference to the Daesh
Takfiri group.

‘Barbaric terror assault’
In
a Paris-drafted statement, the UN Security Council condemned “in the
strongest term” the “barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack in Nice.
“Any
acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable,” said the 15-member
council, describing terrorism as one of the most serious threats to
global peace.

Medics are evacuating the severely wounded to hospital following the attack in Nice.Local
media outlets reported that the French anti-terrorism investigation
department has been tasked with investigating the truck attack in Nice.
Even
though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, militant
outfits affiliated to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group were reportedly
celebrating the deadly incident on social media networks.
The
deadly attack took place just a few hours after Hollande said the
country would not extend a state of emergency, which was imposed
following last November’s deadly terror attacks by the Daesh Takfiri
terrorist group in and around the capital Paris.
Hollande said in his comments that the state of emergency was extended by three months.

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