At least 80 people are dead and dozens injured as a result of a truck driver plowing through a crowd that had gathered to watch a Bastille Day fireworks show in Nice France. The driver’s actions were apparently intentional and are being called “a terrorist attack” by French President François Hollande. The driver allegedly began firing a gun before police shot him dead. The exact identity of the attacker has yet to be confirmed.
The Paris prosecutor’s office, which oversees counterterrorism investigations in France, has taken charge of the inquiry. It has yet to be determined if the assailant had any ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Affiliates of ISIS, aka Daeesh, claimed responsibility for the attacks in January and November of 2015.
“The horror has once again hit France,” Hollande said in a statement shortly after the attack. “France was hit on the day of its national holiday, the fourteenth of July, symbol of liberty, because human rights are denied by fanatics and France is clearly their target.”
Hollande has stated he intends to push for an extension of the state of emergency declared in November. It was set to expire on July 26th.
“We must maintain the high level of Operation Sentinelle,” he said, “which permits us to mobilize 10,000 military personnel. I have also decided to call up the operational reserves.”
Hollande plans to travel to Nice on Friday and offered his condolences to the victims and their families.
“France is tearful, it is saddened, but it is strong. It will always be stronger, I assure you, than the fanatics who wanted to strike it today.”