The attack on Bastille Day celebrants in the French city of Nice that killed at least 84 people was an act of terrorism, French President Francois Hollande said early Friday.
The driver who crashed his truck into a crowd of people watching fireworks continued on for two kilometers, or 1.3 miles, before being shot dead by police, Agence-France Press reported. The truck was loaded with “arms and grenades,” Region President Christian Estrosi said.
Dozens were wounded in the attack, and 18 are in critical condition, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.
Counterterrorism officials have taken over the investigation into the attack, Huff Post France reported. No group has claimed responsibility.
Hollande, addressing the nation early Friday after a crisis meeting, said the carnage in Nice was “an attack whose terrorist character cannot be denied.”
“We need to do everything we can to fight against the threat of terrorism,” Hollande said. Recalling recent attacks in Paris and St. Denis, he said, “It’s all of France that’s under the threat of Islamist radicalism.”
The president said he would extend the state of emergency implemented after the November Paris attack for three months. Earlier on Thursday, just hours before the Nice attack occurred, he had indicated that the emergency measure would expire as planned in less than two weeks.
“We don’t yet know if [the driver] had accomplices, but we are hoping that his identification will offer us more leads,” Hollande said.
Crowds had gathered along the promenade to watch a fireworks display for the French holiday. A reporter from Agence France-Presse saw a white truck driving at high speed, hitting pedestrians and sending debris into the air.
Mirror reported that The killer was a 31-year-old French citizen born in Tunisia. He was said to be known to police but not on a terror watch list.