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Emergency in France extended by three months after Nice attack

Emergency extended by three months after Nice attack


Emergency in France extended by three months after Nice attack

After a brutal attack on a crowded street that left 80 dead and injuring several others at its wake, French president Francois Hollande stated that the state of emergency in the country has been extended by three months.

“French state of emergency has been extended for 3 months,” President Hollande said in an official statement.
The incident happened in the city of Nice, where an attacker drove a heavy truck at high speed into a crowded area, where people were watching Bastille Day fireworks in the French Riviera city on Thursday.

The driver opened fire at the police before he was shot dead. An official reported media that weapons and grenades were found inside the 25-tonne, unmarked truck. Newspaper Nice-Matin quoted unidentified sources as saying the driver was a 31-year-old local of Tunisian origin.

Nice has a population of 350,000 with flamboyant resorts, but is also a gritty metropolis, and has seen some of its Muslim residents travel to Syria to fight, a path taken by previous Islamic State attackers in Europe.

The truck dragged for hundreds of metres (yards) along the Promenade des Anglais seafront, ramming into spectators, who were watching the fireworks, listening to the orchestra or strolling above the beach towards the grand, Hotel Negresco.

Eric Ciotti, a local member of parliament, told media, “It’s a scene of horror. The truck had mown down several hundred people.” Nice-Matin newspaper reported some 42 people were in critical condition and many others injured.

“People went down like ninepins,” Jacques, who runs Le Queenie restaurant on the seafront, told France Info.
Owing to many recent Islamic State attacks on the country since last year, major public events have been guarded by troops and armed police, but it appeared to have taken some minutes to halt the progress of the deadly truck as it tore along pavements and a pedestrian zone.

Around 130 people were killed in Paris on Nov. 13 in the IS attack, the bloodiest in a number of attacks in France and Belgium in the past two years. It was only on Sunday that a weary nation had breathed a collective sigh of relief as the month-long Euro 2016 soccer tournament across France ended without a feared attack. Four months ago, Belgian Islamists linked to the Paris attackers killed 32 people in Brussels.

Police denied rumours on social media of a subsequent hostage-taking in Nice. Vehicle attacks have been used by isolated members of militant groups in recent years, notably in Israel, as well as in Europe, though never to such devastating effect.

US President Barack Obama said in a statement: “On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians.”

“Tragic paradox that the subject of Nice attack was the people celebrating liberty, equality and fraternity,” European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter.

The date and spot did not ring any bell as a former French intelligence agent and security consultant, Claude Moniquet. “Neither the place nor the date is coincidental.” Although he noted of the jihadist presence in Nice and the fact that July 14 marks France’s 1789 revolution.

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