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Nice Bastille Day attack: 50 critically injured in massacre which killed 84 after lorry drove into crowds

We have an enemy who will carry on striking against all people, all countries who cherish their freedom: French President

French President Francois Hollande has said 50 people are now in a critical condition in hospital after a terrorist attack which saw a lorry drive into crowds of revellers celebrating the country's Bastille day.

At least 84 people, including 10 children, died in the incident and over 188 people have been injured.

Of those injured, 48 are in a critical condition and 25 are in intensive care.

Eyewitnesses said the killer swerved from side to side to kill as many people as possible as he drove for hundreds of metres along the Promenade des Anglais on the seafront of the city on the French Riviera.

French President Francois Hollande led a wave of condemnation from world leaders. He said many people from different countries had died including many children.

He said: "France is in tears. It is hurting but it is strong, and she will be strong, always stronger than the fanatics who wish to hurt us."

He added that the state of emergency that had been in force since a series of terrorist attacks in Paris last November, would be extended for another three months.

"We have an enemy who will carry on striking against all people, all countries who cherish their freedom," he added.

At least one Irish citizen is in a critical condition following the Nice attack, according to Taoiseach Enda Kenny. A spokesperson for the UK Prime Minister said that a "small number" of UK citizens had been injured.

A Scottish couple, who had been reported missing have been found safe are leaving Nice on Friday evening.

The family of Ross and Carole Cowan have not heard from them since around 9pm on Thursday.

Mrs Cowan's sister Amy Stanton, from Helensburgh, said she has been unable to reach the couple since the attack.

She has reported her sister, 27, and her husband, 30, as missing to the UK Foreign Office, and posted an urgent appeal for information to the SoS Nice page on Facebook but has since said that they are 'okay'.

Terrorist was French-Tunisian national

The man behind the terrorist attack has been named locally as 31-year-old French-Tunisian national Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, according to newspaper Nice-Matin.

He was shot dead by police after the truck came to a stop on the Promenade.

Police found ID papers and a phone in the truck he used in the attack.

Bouhlel was known to police for delinquency and domestic violence, but not on a list of radicalised people, according to the Nice-Matin newspaper.

He was reported to have hired the vehicle last Monday, taking the biggest from a fleet of lorries - a 19 tonne truck normally used for removals.

Neighbours described him as withdrawn, saying he was "alone" and "silent".

Read more: Nice attack: How I fled terror slaughter - Northern Ireland woman

First victims named

Sean Copeland (51) and his 11-year-old son Brodie, from Texas, were the first of the the 84 victims to be named.

It is thought they were on a family holiday at the time of the atrocity.

Their relative Haley Copeland said: “By now many of you have heard about the people that have died in Nice, France today from a terrorist attack driving through a parade.”

"Two of those 80 people were American and those two people happen to be uncle Sean and 11-year-old cousin Brodie.”

"They were there on vacation with my two other cousins and aunt celebrating a birthday."

"This is an extremely difficult time for my family and anyone who knows Sean and Brodie Copeland. Losing a loved one is hard no matter the circumstances but losing a loved one in such a tragic and unexpected way is unbearable. Prayers are much appreciated. #CopelandFamily #nice."

According to L'Express newspaper, the first victim to die was a Muslim mother of seven who wore a veil.

Fatima Charrihi's son Hamza said she was with nieces and nephews when she was killed, and that his brother had tried to revive her but she had died instantly.

He said: "She wore the veil, practising an Islam of the middle ground. A real Islam. Not that of the terrorists."

L'Express published a photo of her residence permit.

Her son added: "She was the first victim, there were no other bodies before her."

Another person believed to be a victim is a Russian, named in reports as 21-year-old student Victoria Savchenko.

The BBC said another French victim was Robert Marchand, a 60-year-old industrial supervisor from Marcigny, a small, rural town in eastern France, who was a parent and a coach at an athletics club.

Witnesses describe 'horrific' scenes

Irish barman Robert Greene, from Coolock in Dublin, was around three metres from the bloody carnage and spoke of the devastation.

Clearly shaken by the incident, he told the Press Association: "I saw this truck and he cut through three or four people, he was already missing the bumper. It was horrific.

"A woman dropped to her knees, someone in her family had been killed, just lying there. There was not even a thing anyone could do, there was no CPR, bits of him were lying around.

"It was horrific."

The barman added: "There was a young child's plastic tricycle, smashed up and left in bits.

"I stayed on top of the stairs looking around. It was surreal. People screaming, children crying, young children running around the place alone, a woman on rollerblades screaming for her child."

Damien Allemand, a journalist with the Nice Matin newspaper, said: "I saw bodies flying like bowling pins in its path. Heard noises, screams that I will never forget."

London resident Tereza Cerevenova, on holiday with her family in Nice, said people were "hiding behind cars" in an effort to escape the lorry driver.

Northern Ireland reacts

First Minister, Arlene Foster and the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones or have been seriously injured in this vicious attack.

"Many of our football supporters enjoyed attending the European Championships in France in recent weeks and the scene of devastation and pain this morning are in stark contrast to the carnival atmosphere and warmth people from across Europe enjoyed.

"The people who carried out this attack want to create fear and division. Their actions have resulted in the loss of many lives of people of different nationalities. Their acts are futile and will serve only to strengthen our resolve and determination that democratic means are the only way forward.

"We offer our deepest sympathies and support to President Hollande and all the people of France."

On Friday night, Belfast City Hall will be lit in the colours of the French flag and a book of condolence will open at 11am on Monday.

UK to review security

New UK Prime Minister Theresa May said we will stand shoulder to shoulder with France and we must "redouble our efforts to defeat these brutal murders who want to destroy our way of life".

A Cobra meeting took place later on Friday in response to the attack.

Meetings of Cobra, which stands for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A, are held in the UK in response to crises. 

The meeting heard that a "small number" of Britons had so far been identified as injured in the attack.

"At this stage we are aware of a small number of British nationals who have been injured, but that is just the situation as we know it now, those numbers may change," the Prime Minister's official spokeswoman said.

Police forces in Britain will review security at major events scheduled to take place over the next week in the wake of the attack.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said: "Our thoughts are with the people of Nice, all those affected by last night's horrific attack and the emergency services whose job it was to respond.

"Our counter terrorism officers will do whatever we can to support our French counterparts in the days and weeks that follow as the investigation unfolds.

"UK policing continues to operate at a heightened state against the backdrop of a severe threat level - that level has been in place since 2014.

"Our policing tactics and security measures are constantly reviewed and we, along with our partners, are working around the clock to keep our cities as safe as can be.

"As I have following previous terrorist incidents, today I have asked all forces to review major events over the next seven days to ensure the appropriate security is in place."

New Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, speaking to the BBC, said: "It's an absolutely appalling incident and there will be ministerial meetings later on today to discuss the implications.

"Clearly this represents a continuing threat. If this is a terrorist incident, as this appears to be, this represents a continuing threat to us in the whole of Europe and we must meet it together.

"The only information that I have is that there is one UK national who is injured."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has  said he will be "reviewing our own safety measures" following a terror attack in Nice.

Mr Khan declared that the capital would "stand united" with France and insisted the "poisonous and twisted" terrorists would be defeated.

Speaking on a visit to Gatwick Airport, Mr Khan said: "I will reassure all Londoners that today we will be reviewing our own safety measures in light of this attack and that I and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner will do everything possible to keep Londoners safe."

World leaders react

US president Barack Obama has condemned "in the strongest terms" what he said "appears to be a horrific terrorist attack" in Nice, France.

World leaders reacted with horror and sadness after the attack, which has left at least 84 people dead.

In a statement tweeted by the White House, the president offered assistance to French officials to investigate and "bring those responsible to justice".

He said his "thoughts and prayers" were with the loved ones of those killed and wished those wounded a full recovery.

"We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack," he said.

"On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life."

Former prime minister David Cameron condemned the "sickening and dreadful attack" on Twitter.

He added: "I know we stand with the French people and share their values. They shall never defeat us."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Dreadful reports from Nice. Thoughts with all involved."

Presumptive US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was due to name his running mate on Friday morning, but said he was postponing the announcement "in light of the horrible attack in Nice, France".

US Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton issued a statement saying it appeared that terrorists had struck one of the United States' "closest allies in Europe, attacking families celebrating the history and culture of their country on Bastille Day".

She said that Americans stood strong with the people, and added: "We will never allow terrorists to undermine the egalitarian and democratic values that underpin our very way of life.

"This cowardly attack only strengthens our commitment to our alliance and to defeating terrorism around the world."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned the "shocking and horrific attack" on Twitter.

He added: "My thoughts are with the victims and their families. Solidarity with emergency services and people of Nice."

Labour leadership hopeful Owen Smith announced that he would be cancelling Friday's campaign launch "in light of the heartbreaking news from Nice".

German chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video that Germany stood on the side of France and many others in the fight against terrorism and expressed solidarity between the German and French people.

Germany's top security official said the attack was "incomprehensible and simply awful", and that "this barbaric murder must be finally brought to an end".

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "Canadians are shocked by tonight's attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people."

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