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Fatalities as lorry hits Bastille Day crowd in Nice

Published 14/07/2016

People running away after dozens of people are believed to have been killed in Nice (@harp_detectives)
People running away after dozens of people are believed to have been killed in Nice (@harp_detectives)

A lorry has ploughed into a crowd of revellers watching Bastille Day fireworks in the French resort city of Nice in what officials and eyewitnesses described as a deliberate attack with many dead.

Sylvie Toffin, a local authority press officer, said the lorry "hit several people on a long trip" down the pavement near Nice's Palais de la Mediterranee, a building which fronts the beach, on Thursday night.

Eyewitness Wassim Bouhlel, a Nice native, said: "There was carnage on the road. Bodies everywhere."

Mr Bouhlel said he saw a man emerge from the vehicle with a gun and start shooting, but Ms Toffin said that "to my knowledge" there was no gunfire.

She said the incident was deliberate.

"It's an attack," she said. She did not have casualty figures.

It was not immediately clear who would have been behind the attack, but France has recently seen a spate of dramatic assaults from by jihadist groups, including the Islamic State which straddles Iraq and Syria.

The president of Nice regional council said "tens of people" had been killed and Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet ttold BFM TV there would be several dozen fatalities.

"It's going to be a very high toll," Mr Brandet said.

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From Belfast Telegraph