A truck ploughed into Bastille Day celebrations in Nice last night, killing at least 60 and injuring more than 150.
The incident on the Promenade des Anglais has been described by the local police chief of Alpes-Maritimes as “an attack” and he urged Nice residents to stay indoors, France Info radio reported.
The driver of the truck was reportedly killed by French police, and pictures showed the front of the truck riddled with bulletholes. There were unconfirmed reports that either the driver or people inside the truck had opened fire.
“People are running, it’s panic,” a journalist from local newspaper Nice-Matin was reported as saying. “There is blood, no doubt injuries.”
A huge security cordon was established, closing off the central Place Massena in the southern French town, and helicopters patrolled the skies above.
Soldiers were deployed to the streets amid reports of further gunfire around the city.
Nice mayor head Christian Estrosi tweeted that a “truck-driver appeared to have killed dozens of people”. He told Nice residents: “Stay at home.”
“We saw people hit and bits of debris flying around,” said an AFP reporter, adding that the incident took place near the city’s famed Hotel Negresco.
Social media images showed men and women lying on the side of a road. Videos and photographs also showed thousands fleeing in panic.
Bastille Day, which celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris in the French Revolution of 1789, is the country’s biggest public holiday.
State of emergency orders are still in place following last November’s attacks on Paris, when almost 150 people were killed by Islamist terrorists.
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