NICE TERROR ATTACK LATEST: At least 77 are feared dead as lorry driven into Bastille Day crowd
NICE TERROR ATTACK LATEST: At least 77 are feared dead as lorry driven into Bastille Day crowd

NICE TERROR ATTACK LATEST: At least 77 are feared dead as lorry driven into Bastille Day crowd

AT LEAST 77 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in the southern French city of Nice tonight after a terrorist firing a weapon drove a lorry into a crowd out celebrating Bastille Day. Hundreds were left cowering in fear as attack rages on the streets of Nice. Witnesses tell of their horror at seeing bodies go flying after being hit by truck

TERRIFIED people have been left huddling in hiding spots across Nice after an attack that left more than 70 people dead and another more than 100 injured.

The attack saw a truck speed through the Promenade des Anglais, hitting hundreds of people as it drove for 2km before the driver finally stopped.

People crowded into hiding spots around Nice as the terror unfolded

TWITTER
People crowded into hiding spots around Nice as the terror unfolded
People were left cowering in fear as the attack took place

TWITTER
People were left cowering in fear as the attack took place, with many holding each other to provide comfort
People tried to call their families as they hid from the massacre on the street

TWITTER
People tried to call their families as they hid from the massacre on the street
People crossed the street with their hands on their heads as French authorities secure the area

REUTERS
People crossed the street with their hands on their heads as French authorities secure the area

Witnesses have already come forward, telling their stories of shock and horror as they were left hiding in fear.

Australian journalist Ben Terry shared a video of a group of terrified people cowering in a restaurant’s storeroom, saying he was holed up in the storage room of a restaurant after hearing gunfire.

He tweeted, saying: “seems to be under control in #nice but the mass panic was like I’d never seen”.

He later wrote that the streets were emptying in Nice with people running to their homes.

The group can be seen cowering in between fridges and cupboards of food, telling each other to keep quiet as scenes of panic unfolded in the French city.

He said he had been enjoying the fireworks display on the Promenage des Anglais when he saw people start running.

Mr Terry said: “We heard several gunshots, of course we had no idea where they were coming from, but after the Paris attack and what we saw in Brussels recently there was a sensen of tension and we ran with the crowd.”

He said a group managed to run into a restaurant, huddling into the storeroom together.

He said: “Several of them were crying, some were trying to call their family and more and more people were running in.”

Families desperate to hear news of their loved ones have now taken to social media, begging for news.

The attack occurred between 10.30 and 11.30pm during Bastille Day celebrations

The attack occurred between 10.30 and 11.30pm during Bastille Day celebrations
French authorities poured onto the streets after the attack, which has left more than 70 dead and 100 injured

REUTERS
French authorities poured onto the streets after the attack, which has left more than 70 dead and 100 injured
The truck drove for 2km, hitting hundreds of people in the horrific attack

NOT KNOWN
The truck drove for 2km, hitting hundreds of people in the horrific attack
The front of the white lorry appears to be shot up with bullets

GETTY IMAGES
The front of the white lorry appears to be shot up with bullets
French officials have confirmed that they are investigasting a terrorist attack and there are reports that there are gunmen on the loose in the city. French TV channel iTele tonight reported that a gunman believed to be one of two terrorists had “holed up in a nice restaurant downtown” but was then “neutralized” by police.
The channel said it is not believed the man had taken any hostages during the incident. The man is believed to have been in the lorry with the driver and fled on foot to a restaurant called Le Buffalo nearby, where he was killed by an officer with a handgun.

A top politician of the Alpes-Maritime department, Eric Ciotti, said that police killed the driver “apparently after an exchange of gunfire”.

French newspaper Le Figaro quoted police sources saying that officers found weapons, guns and grenades inside the lorry cab, indicating it was a premeditated terrorist attack. Police are now actively seeking out any accomplices involved in planning the atrocity and specialist anti-terror detectives from Paris have taken over the investigation from local officers.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group have been celebrating it on social media.

And the Paris prosecutor’s office tonight confirmed it has opened an investigation into charges of “murder and attempted murder in an organised group linked to a terrorist enterprise”.

It is believed to be the 10th terrorist attack carried out in France since January last year.

ISIS channels online have reportedly told their supporters to “await” confirmation it was behind the atrocity through an an announcement by its press agency Amaq.On the promenade it is thought that police officers desperately fired on the truck as it was “deliberately driven” for more than 100 metres at people leaving a major bank holiday fireworks celebration.

Witnesses said the truck picked up speed and “rammed” the crowd where it was thickest at more than 40mph whilst the driver fired a gun out of the window. Images then emerged of the cab riddled with bullets. One eyewitness said he saw the driver emerge with a gun after the truck came to a halt and begin shooting at the fleeing crowd.

Police have identified the driver, who was killed during the incident, and it is believed to have been a man who was known to security services. Separate reports emerged tonight that police fear four different trucks are involved, raising fears of a massive organised terror attack.

At least 77 people are dead according to newspaper Le Figaro, with said a further 56 are fighting for their lives in a critical condition in hospital and 31 more are in a serious condition. More than a hundred people are believed to have been injured.Christian Estrosi, a leading regional politician in the area, said on Twitter: “This is the worst drama in the history of Nice with more than 70 victims already.”

In a statement to BFM TV he added that “the driver fired on the crowd, according to the police who killed him”.

Mr Estrosi said the truck was drivien by someone who appeared to have “completely premeditated behavior” and confirmed that “the truck was loaded with arms, loaded with grenades”.

Crowds had packed out the city’s main promenade to watch a fireworks display marking Bastille Day, a major public holiday in France, and were beginning to head home when the lorry hit.

One witness reported horrific scenes with “dead bodies everywhere” and distressing video footage emerged of people fleeing the Promenade des Anglais, in the southern French city, in terror. Another said it ran down terrified pedestrians “like ninepins”.

And pictures posted on social media, far too graphic to publish, showed bodies strewn across the road in a scene of total devastation. The world-famous promenade, next to Nice’s stunning sandy beach, is one of France’s top tourist spots.

The scene from NiceTWITTER

There are unconfirmed reports the incident was a deliberate ‘attack’

The scene from NiceTwitter

Police are investigating what is believed to be a possible terror attack

A photo from the sceneRT

A lorry has ploughed into a crowd of people in Nice

One eyewitnessed raised fears that the incident “had to be planned” and others said the driver of the truck had deliberately chased down and run over people attempting to flee the scene.They said: “I’m in Nice and cannot describe the situation – scary awful. Dead bodies everywhere people killed in front of my eyes. Had to be planned.”

A group of students who were on the Promenade des Anglais at the time of the incident.

One of them, Anthony, said: “The fireworks ended, and we went back.

“At that time we saw the white truck. A 6 tonne truck. It was speeding at 60 km/h, 70km/h.

“I saw behind the wheel, the driver was deciding which way it was heading. The truck rolled on to the pavement.

“It happened two meters from us. I saw people lying on the ground, I saw a small child hit the earth.”

Pictures have emerged of bodies strewn across the roadREUTERS

Pictures have emerged of bodies strewn across the road

The scene from NiceTwitter

Eyewitnesses reported scores are dead

An ISIS tweet celebrating the attackTwitter

ISIS supporters are celebrating the attack

A reporter for the Nice Matin newspaper who was covering the celebrations added: “There are people in blood, probably full of wounded.”Fabien Lallemand said he saw a “huge white truck traveling at breakneck speed” which clearly intended to “mow down the maximum number of people”.

He said: ”I saw bodies flying like bowling pins in its path. I heard noises, screams, that I will never forget. I was paralysed. I did not move.

“Around me, there was panic. people were running, screaming, crying. Then I realized. And I ran with them.”

One eyewitness, Wassim Bouhlel, said he saw the driver emerge from the truck after it came to a halt and start shooting at the crowds.

He said: “There was carnage on the road. Bodies everywhere.”

But Sylvie Toffin, a press officer with the local prefecture, said the truck “hit several people on a long trip” however added that “to my knowledge” there was no gunfire.

She also confirmed that the incident was “an attack” but said she did not have casualty figures.

The truckNice Matin

The truck was riddled with bullets during the incident

The lorryAFP

The driver of the vehicle is said to have been killed

The lorry at the sceneAFP

France has been targeted by a number of terror plots

Local paper Nice Matin posted a photograph online of the white truck riddled with bullets, suggesting that police fired at the driver as it careered into the crowds. Christian Estrosi, the head of the Nice prefecture, has confirmed the death toll is in the dozens and has urged people to stay in their homes.A witness told the paper: “We had just crossed the road and there was a huge crowd of people. We were returning and we heard ‘boom, boom, boom’ and we saw a lorry on the promenade which ploughed right through.

“My son was there right next to it. It hit where the crowd was thickest and was travelling very quickly – about 50km per hour (31mph).”

Another witness said: “He drove over everyone, everyone is bleeding. There are loads of people injured without doubt.”

The driver is believed to have been killed in the incident, possibly after being hit by bullets fired by police.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet confirmed the driver had been “neutralised” and added: “The investigation will determine whether he acted alone.”

The scene Twitter

Police apparently fired at the lorry as it mounted the curb

The sceneNice Matin

Officials have confirmed it as a terror attack

The sceneNice Matin

More than 100 have been injured

Police forensics experts found guns and grenades inside the truckREUTERS

Police forensics experts found guns and grenades inside the truck

He drove over everyone, everyone is bleeding

Eyewitness

An eye witness who works in the Nice judiciary said armed terrorists were “flooding” the streets of the city, adding that the situation is “absolute chaos”.They said: “There are reports of dozens of people killed, and many more injured. Bodies are lying everywhere.

“Police are flooding the streets, including anti-terrorism officers. Nobody knows what to do, except to hide away. Gunmen are meant to be targeting hotels.”

British tourist Lucy Nesbitt-Comiskey described the moment police shot at the truck and people fled into the restaurant she was dining at with her friend in panic.

The pair had been due to go to the fireworks display themselves but decided not to at the last minute because she needed to go to the toilet.

She said: “It sounded like an attack in Beirut. I said to my friend this doesn’t sound like fireworks. All of a sudden people were screaming in the streets and they were running to the restaurants.

“There was a lady she collapsed on the floor she fainted and we were in shock. We were going to go down to the fireworks but we didn’t go because I needed to go to the ladies and that’s what stopped us. It was shocking, it was devastating.”

A man is treated at the sceneAFP

Dozens of people are seriously wounded in hospital

There are unconfirmed reports of gunmen on the looseNice Matin

There are unconfirmed reports of gunmen on the loose

Armed police have now flooded the streets of the cityREUTERS

Armed police have now flooded the streets of the city

The crowd was attending a fireworks display in Nice, with this photo taken moments before the dramaAFP

The crowd was attending a fireworks display in Nice, with this photo taken moments before the drama

Authorities in Nice have officially enacted the ‘White Plan’, which ushers in contingency measures to deal with the aftermath of a massive terrorist attack.Hospitals have been put on red alert to receive mass casualties and armed troops have taken to the streets in huge numbers.

French President Francois Holland has immediately flown back to the capital Paris from an official trip in Avignon and will chair a crisis meeting of ministers at the Elysee Palace, his spokesman confirmed.

His interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, has already left Paris and is headed down to the south coast to visit the scene of the atrocity.

A spokesman for Number 10 said that Theresa May is being kept updated on the attack and added: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this terrible incident on what was a national day of celebration.”

A spokesman for US President Barack Obama said he had been “apprised” of the situation in Nice and “will be updated as appropriate”.

Mr Obama released a statement saying: “I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice.

“We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack.”

Donald Trump tweeted that he has cancelled a press conference at which he was to announce his presidential running mate tomorrow “in light of the horrible attack in Nice”.

Le président @fhollande s’est entretenu avec le Premier ministre @ManuelValls au sujet des événements de

Another horrific attack, this time in Nice, France. Many dead and injured. When will we learn? It is only getting worse.

Canadians are shocked by tonight’s attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people.

Sickened by news of another senseless attack. On this we are all patriots of France. Nice, we are with you.

Just heard the terrible news from Nice. I am shocked. My thoughts and prayers to all affected.

And French ambassador to the US Gérard Araud tweeted: “Again. Sadness. These people only wanted to enjoy the Bastille day fireworks with their family and their friends. Sadness.“Our democracies are besieged. Let’s stick more than ever to our values. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. Vive la France, vive les Etats-Unis!”

A hashtag was also started up on Twitter – #portesouvertesnice – for shellshocked witnesses and victims of the attack looking for somewhere to spend the night.

There will be fears tonight that France has been targeted by yet another horrific terrorist attack, coming after last November’s slaughter in Paris by Islamic State (ISIS) gunmen.

France is still in a State of Emergency following those attacks, when almost 150 people were murdered by Islamic State and Al-Qaeda operatives.

ISIS is well known for using vehicles in terrorist attacks, often packing them with explosives for maximum effect.

Bastille Day, which celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris during the French Revolution of 1789, is the country’s biggest public holiday.

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