On late Thursday night as revellers were watching Bastille Day fireworks display, a truck ploughed into a crowd in the French resort of Nice, killing at least 84 people and injuring 18. France President Francois Hollande touted the attack as an act of terrorism.
The driver was shot dead after barrelling the truck two kilometres through the festive crowd on the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais, sending hundreds fleeing in terror and leaving the area strewn with bodies.
The following video (contains graphic content) acquired from the Instagram account of Muxsin A. Ibrahim, shows the bodies of victims strewn on the streets. The video was taken immediately after the attack before the ambulances reached the spot to take the victims to the hospital.
The victims includes young and old people, many among them were children.
Bloodied bodies of the victims lay on the road and many were seen recuperating on the side walk. Many onlookers were seen trying to ascertain the extent of injuries in the victims.
According to eyewitnesses who were at the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, "before the truck ploughed through the crowd, the place was packed with families and young children."
According to them, the place was utter chaos after the attack and screams of the families of the victims were heard.
Authorities said they found identity papers belonging to a 31-year-old French-Tunisian citizen in the truck, as well as "guns" and "larger weapons".
The attack was of an "undeniable terrorist nature," a sombre Hollande said in a televised national address,
confirming that "several children" were among the dead as families came together to celebrate France's national day.
The bloodshed came on Bastille Day, a celebration of everything France holds dear, its secular republic and the
values of "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" (Freedom, Equality, Fraternity).
The attacker struck after a day of military pomp and ceremony in Paris — where armed forces, tanks and fighter jets swooped down the Champs Elysees avenue — and spectacular firework displays.
A photograph showed the front of the truck riddled with bullet holes and badly damaged, with burst tyres. A lone doll lay abandoned on the promenade where families celebrated the holiday just hours earlier.
Hollande announced he would extend France's state of emergency for three months in the wake of this latest attack and "step up" the government's action against jihadists in Syria and Iraq.
He also called up army reservists to bolster the country's security services that are stretched to the limit.
With inputs from AFP
First Published On : Jul 15, 2016 13:00 IST