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Truck Driver In Nice Attack Had Accomplices And Planned For Months, Says Prosecutor

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day along Nice's promenade, leaving at least 84 people dead. He was then killed in a shootout with police.

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Updated on

What We Know So Far

  • At least 84 people died after a truck driver plowed into a crowd gathered to celebrate Bastille Day in Nice, France.
  • As many as 10 children were killed.
  • Some 202 people were wounded in the attack, according to Paris prosecutor François Molins. Of those, 52 were in critical condition, 25 of them in intensive care.
  • The driver of the truck was shot and killed. Police have confirmed his identity as 31-year-old French-Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel.
  • Molins said that Bouhlel searched for ISIS propaganda online. The terror group claimed responsibility for the attack but provided little evidence it inspired it.
  • Fake guns and grenades were found in the cab of the truck.
  • Hollande announced plans to extend a national state of emergency by three months. He also declared three days of national mourning.
  • Prime Minister Manuel Valls said France "must learn to live with terrorism," and that the country must "stand together, united."

Updates

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Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the driver who killed 84 people on Bastille Day, received help from five people and plotted the attack for months, the Associated Press reported.

French prosecutor François Molins said Thursday that five people are in custody and face terrorism charges for their role in helping Bouhlel. Molins spoke at a press conference in Paris.

Investigation has also shown that Bouhlel had been planning an attack for months, Molins said. Searches and photos on his phone related to attack plans date back to 2015.

In spite of that, there is still no evidence that Bouhlel had direct contact with members of ISIS, Molins added. ISIS has claimed it inspired the attack, but neither Bouhlel nor his alleged accomplices were known to French intelligence officials.

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Prosecutor: Driver Searches For ISIS Propaganda

The Paris prosecutor said Monday that the truck driver searched for ISIS propaganda videos and for information about the fatal attack in an Orlando LGBT nightclub, the Associated Press reported.

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Two more suspects arrested in connection to attack, as French authorities attempt to identify possible accomplices

Laurent Cipriani / AP

A floral tribute to victims on the famed Boulevard des Anglais.

French authorities detained a man and a woman on Sunday, under suspicion that they were linked to attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel.

In the attempt to trace Bouhlel's path to radicalization, to determine if he acted alone, and to find any concrete ties to ISIS, French authorities have detained seven people.

One of these people, Bouhlel's wife, was released from custody Sunday morning, the Washington Post reported.

Information released by French authorities Sunday suggest that Bouhlel may have had accomplices in his actions, the strongest evidence of which was a text sent half an hour before the attack reading, "Bring more weapons."

Ema O'Connor

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A judicial source said it is believed that Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel researched the route where he eventually drove a rented truck through crowds, killing 84 people and injuring dozens more, according French media reports.

He is thought to have driven the rented truck to the Nice seafront twice on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the attack.

– Laura Silver

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While many of those injured in Thursday night's horrific attack have been discharged, several people are still in a life-threatening condition, France's health minister Marisol Touraine told local reporters.

She said 85 people were still hospitalized, with 18 – including one child – in critical condition.

Of those who have been released, several will need continued medical attention for their injuries.

Touraine encouraged survivors of the incident to seek counseling being offered by the government in order to deal with the trauma of their experience.

Seven people are now thought to be in police custody in connection with the incident, after two more people with ties to Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who was driving the lorry, were reported to have been arrested.

Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot by police and killed at the scene on Thursday.

– Laura Silver

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French interior minister announces increased security measures following attacks

Philippe Wojazer / Reuters

French President Francois Hollande (left) Government Spokesman Stephane Le Foll (center), and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuveon announced on Saturday increased security measures in light of the Nice attack.

Cazeneuve said he plans to call 12,000 police reserves to add to the 120,000 police officers and reserves already deployed across France, according to the Associated Press. The decision was a direct result of the July 14 attack.

The BBC reports that five people have been detained in relation to the Nice attack, including the estranged wife of Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the driver of the truck used in the attack.

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After an emergency meeting at the Elysee Palace on Saturday, government spokesperson Stephane Le Foll read a statement on behalf of the French president in which Hollande described Thursday night's atrocity as a "terrible tragedy, an unspeakable act".

Le Foll said that Hollande "wants to reaffirm the need for cohesion for a country like France," amid "temptations to divide a country".

"France must remain a great country to live together. France is a country that respects its values, principles and republican values," the statement said.

– Laura Silver

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The driver of the truck in Thursday's attack, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was known to police for a string of petty crimes, but not French intelligence agencies.

Speaking outside the Elysee Palace in Paris after ISIS claimed Bouhlel was a "soldier of the Islamic State", French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said it appeared he had been "very quickly radicalised".

"We are confronted by individuals who, responding to messages from [ISIS], are engaging in extremely violent actions without necessarily having taken part in combat, without necessarily having been trained," he told journalists, in remarks reported by Le Monde.

He added: "The terrorists are trying to divide us. Us dividing would fulfil their objectives."

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The ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq has claimed the attack in Nice was carried out by a "soldier of the Islamic State".

However, French investigators have so far not discovered any connection that links attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who was shot and killed by police, to ISIS.

Rita Katz, the director of terror monitoring group SITE Intelligence, tweeted:

1) Breaking: #ISIS' Amaq claims #NiceAttack was carried out by a"soldier of the Islamic State".

2) BREAKING: #ISIS' claimed #NiceAttack through its 'Amaq Agency, says op response to calls to target coalition citizens

Translated, the message reads:

3) #ISIS' Amaq English translation of the #NiceAttack claims:"Insider source to Amaq": executor was #ISIS soldier

Matthew Champion

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French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Friday said the Nice attacker who killed 84 people was "probably linked to radical Islam one way or another."

Valls made the comment to an evening news program, France 2, while denouncing the deadly attack during Bastille Day celebrations as a terrorist act.

"He is a terrorist probably linked to radical Islam one way or another," he said, according to a Reuters translation. "Yes, it is a terrorist act, and we shall see what the links there are with terrorist organizations."

Despite Valls' statement, French officials have not announced a link between Mohamed Bouhlel, the man identified as the driver of the truck that plowed through a crowd, and a radicalized movement or terror group.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said during an earlier press conference Friday that Bouhlel was "completely unknown" to French and international intelligence agencies.

Bouhlel had been arrested for assault and theft.

Salvador Hernandez

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President Obama expressed the United States' solidarity with France following the "appalling attack" in Nice Thursday night, and called terror networks "an affront to all of our humanity."

"We witnessed another tragic and appalling attack on the freedom and peace that we cherish," Obama said Friday. "It's not just the United States of America, but the entire world who stands in solidarity with the people of France."

While Obama condemned terror networks, officials have not been able to tie the truck attack to a terror group and no group has claimed responsibility for it.

"These individuals and networks are an affront to all of our humanity," Obama said.

Obama said the U.S. and its allies would continue to push back against groups like ISIS and fight against its ideologies by offering better visions of economic progress so people are less susceptible to extremism and violence.

"We will not be deterred, we will not relent, we're going to keep working together to prevent attacks and protect our homeland," Obama said. "We are going to destroy this vile organization."

Obama also mentioned two U.S. citizens from Austin, Texas, who were killed in the attack, a father and his 11-year-old son who were vacationing in Nice.

He also spoke out against suggestions that all Muslims, even U.S. Muslims, should be targeted in the wake of the attack.

"The very suggestion is repugnant and an affront to everything we stand for as Americans," Obama said. "We cannot let ourselves be divided by religion because that's exactly what the terrorists want."
—Adolfo Flores

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Man arrested at a vigil with a "large knife"

NICE — A man was arrested at a vigil for the victims of the Nice attacks with a "large knife," witnesses told BuzzFeed News.

One person described the weapon as a "machete" and said he was trying to attack people.

People yelled at the man and wept as he was placed into a police car.
—Ryan Broderick

Crowd screamed at him as he was put in police car

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Three UC Berkeley students studying abroad in Nice were injured during Thursday's attack, the university said in a press release.

Nicolas Leslie, a 20-year-old junior majoring in the College of Natural Resources, is still unaccounted for, the release said. There are 85 students currently studying in Nice.

The other three students, whom the university did not name, suffered broken bones. The students are in Nice as part of a 15-day program called Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Europe.

UC Berkeley said it offered to fly students back to the U.S. and so far three have returned.

—Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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President Obama called President Hollande and offered condolences to France on behalf of the American people, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

"France is after all our oldest ally," he said. "President Obama didn't just offer condolences but security cooperation and any assistance they need to conduct their investigation."

Earnest reiterated that there have been no claims to responsibility yet and that French investigators are looking closely at what connections the attacker may have had to extremist organizations.

"More needs to be learned about his background and about other people he may have associated with," Earnest said. "Anything that would provide insight into how the attack was planned, how it was carried out and whether or not he received any instruction or direction in doing so."

—Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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In an attempt to prevent more injuries, several people attempted to jump into the moving truck as it drove through crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice Thursday night, eyewitnesses said.

One police officer managed to jump into the truck, according to Eric Ciotti, a member of the National Assembly of France, which brought the vehicle to a halt.

"I won't forget the look of this policewoman who intercepted the killer," he told Europe 1 radio.

A second eyewitness said a person chased the moving truck on their motorcycle. German journalist Richard Gutjahr told Agence France-Press he saw a motorcycle chase the truck as he stood on a balcony on Promenade des Anglais.

"The motorcyclist attempted to overtake the truck and even tried to open the driver's door, but he fell and ended up under the wheels of the truck," he said.

—Rossalyn Warren

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in attendance.

Sarkozy entering Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate for mass in honor of victims of #NiceAttack

— Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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Sarkozy offered his condolences in a statement saying "nothing can be as before."

His full statement reads:

"On this special day for our country, where we celebrated our national day, France has once again been struck in his heart.

Through Nice, its residents, its tourists and the famous Promenade des Anglais, France has been directly targeted last night by Islamist terrorism.

Like all the French, we are struck with terror and immense emotion in response to this mass murder, which affects whole families and their children and which plunges a whole nation, an entire area, a city and its inhabitants into mourning.

My thoughts go first to the victims who were cowardly killed, to their families, the injured, but also to our law enforcement, emergency services and to all the politicians who have fully rallied together throughout this long night.

In the face of terrorist barbarity and individuals willing to do anything to attack France and the French, it is essential to extend the state of emergency and to use it fully to ensure the safety and protection of the French. We are in a war that will last, with a threat that is constantly renewing itself. Adapting and constantly strengthening our measures to combat Islamist terrorism remains a top priority. An exceptional steadfastness and vigilance of every moment, and for a long time, will be needed. Nothing can be as before."
— Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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Two guys arrived at the waterfront on a Vespa, played music, and handed out watermelon slices

Andrea and his friends were here last night and they brought watermelons today to warm hearts #NiceAttack

A couple guys arrived on a Vespa and started handing out watermelon slices and playing music #NiceAttack

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Molins, speaking at a press conference, provided details of the Thursday night attack and also confirmed that Mohamed Bouhlel was the man driving the truck.

Bouhlel, who worked as a delivery man, was "completely unknown" to national and international intelligence services but had been previously arrested for assault and theft.

His ex-wife has been arrested and is being held in police custody, Molins said.

The prosecutor said Bouhlel rode a bike — which was later found in the truck — to pick up the parked vehicle on Thursday.

He drove 2 kilometers (approximately 1.2 miles) into the crowd. He then shot several times at three police officers.

Inside the truck, police found an automatic weapon and a magazine, a fake automatic pistol, a grenade, a mobile phone, and several documents.

Molins said all the items are being investigated.

— Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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Bouhlel, 31, who was living in Nice, was originally from Tunisia, and worked as a delivery driver in the area surrounding Nice.

He had a wife and family and his ex-wife has been arrested and held in custody, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said in a press conference Friday.
— Tasneem Nashrulla

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French medical officials: 188 people admitted to hospital, 48 in a state of "absolute emergency"

French health ministry officials have said 188 people have been admitted to hospital following the attack. Of those, 48 were in "absolute emergency", and a further 25 were in intensive care, according to a statement from French medical officials.

The statement went on to say there were psychiatrists, psychologists, and nurses at the emergency centers preparing to help those families and friends affected by the atrocity.

#Nice 188 patients pris en charge dans les établissements de santé.48 d’entre eux en urgence absolue,dont 25 en réa

It follows President Hollande saying 50 people were "between life and death" at a press conference earlier today. The president, who praised the outstanding work of the doctors, nurses, and emergency services, later visited one of the hospitals.

.@fhollande s'est rendu auprès des blessés et a témoigné de son soutien au personnel du CHU Pasteur à #Nice

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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Police tried to block people gathered along the promenade near Le Meridien from photographing floral memorials, BuzzFeed News' Ryan Broderick reports

Large gathering on the promenade near Le Meridien #NiceAttack

About as close to the Promenade as they'll let you get with a smartphone out #nice

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President Hollande updated the number of injured people in the Nice attack to 50 after arriving in the city on Friday.

"And there are other people who were not injured themselves but for their entire lives will carry with them these horrifying images they unfortunately witnessed," he said. "Some may not remember what happened exactly but people will remember those disfigured bodies that they saw and that is why all of France shares in solidarity their emotions."

Hollande praised security forces — including police officers, firemen, investigators, and hospital works — for their swift action during and after the attack.

"As I speak to you I still have in my mind the young police officers who acted to make sure the killer was in fact killed," he said.

He went on to say that the country's response to the attack will once again demonstrate France's strength.

"The world thinks we are a strong country, a country that can overcome any challenges — and we've experienced many challenges over the last months," he said. "We have shown a shining example of unity, of cohesion. It is this cohesion, this unity, this strength that I would like to invoke in Nice today so France can be stronger than those who wish to hurt her."

—Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

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Ban Ki-moon, leader of the United Nations, has released a statement condemning the attack and expressing sympathy for the victims.

A spokesperson for Ki-moon said he "expresses his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of this horrific act, as well as to the Government and the people of France. He wishes a speedy recovery to those injured."

The statement continued: "The Secretary-General hopes that all those responsible for this massacre will be rapidly identified and brought to justice. He stands firmly by the French Government and people as they confront this threat and stresses the need to intensify regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism."

Stmnt from @UN_Spokesperson on Nice: Ban Ki-moon expresses deepest sympathy & condolences https://t.co/RWePeYwCj0

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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Number 10 said that a "small number" of Britons were injured in the attack in Nice.

The comments, which came out following a Cobra security meeting with senior officials and the PM Theresa May, increase the number hurt after foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday morning one British person had been injured.

Elsewhere, foreign ministries in Armenia, Ukraine, Switzerland, and Russia are all reporting that a citizen from their countries has been killed.

Armenian officials initially said two citizens had died, the Associated Press reported, but later said only a single death was confirmed. Two Ukrainians were injured and one killed, the Ukrainian Embassy said. The officials declined to release details around the victim, citing their family's right to privacy.

Swiss authorities confirmed a female citizen had been killed but, like the Ukrainian officials, cited the victim's family's right to privacy and declined to release any more details. The BBC reported the woman was 54 years old.

Student Viktoria Savchenko has been named as the Russian woman killed in the attacks, as reported by news agency RIA Novosti.

Earlier on Friday, BBC monitoring reported another two Russians were injured in the attack, according to the country's Tourist Industry Union. The Russian Foreign Ministry later confirmed that three of its citizens remained unaccounted for.

One 60-year-old French person is reported to have died, adding to the two American citizens known to have perished in the attack.

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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Video surfaces of the moment police shot at the truck's cabin

WARNING: This footage may be disturbing to some readers.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

The Associated Press published video of law enforcement officers in Nice firing about 25 shots at the cabin of the truck that moments before plowed through the crowd.

The video begins with the pop of gunfire as officers advance on the truck in all directions. People can be heard yelling in the background as sirens wail and bystanders are just feet away.

The person who provided the video, Nader El Shafei, told NBC News he is a former banker from Cairo who said he walked out in front of the truck when it finally stopped.

"I was waving to the driver 'Stop, there's a girl under the truck.'

"I saw him pick up a phone, I thought, and at this point I still think it's an accident and then I see he pulls out a gun. It looked like a handgun, a Glock. He pulled it out and I understood something was wrong ... and then I see the police shooting him."

The police told him to clear out, but, he told NBC News, "I was just frozen."

"I'm used to all of these actions in the Middle East but I was never this close to it. I said to my friends, 'Now we can't go to Europe to escape the Middle East. Now the Middle East can happen anywhere."


—Tom Namako

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A Sikh man who was wrongly accused of being responsible for the Paris attacks last year has been targeted for a second time, after a photoshopped image circulated on social media claiming he was behind the attack in Nice.

Last November, people tweeted that Veerender Jubbal was the one of the Paris attackers after a photo of him was photoshopped to make it look like he was wearing a suicide bomb vest.

The image was quickly debunked by social media users.

Jubbal spoke out against the fake image, and in a statement at the time described the experience as "deeply disturbing."

On Friday, for the second time in less than a year, a fake image of Jubbal was being circulated online.

People are wrongly identifying my Sikh friend as being responsible for the #Nice attack. Please help end the rumors.

Several users who tweeted the fake image have had their accounts suspended. Singh, a friend of Jubbal, stressed the circulation of the faked image was not "a joke" and urged people to end the rumors.

—Rossalyn Warren

Among the rumors, there was speculation there had been a hostage situation (there had not) and that there was a link between a fire at the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the attack in Nice. People were keen to claim ISIS had taken responsibility for the attack, when in fact there has been no confirmation from the extremist group.

There were also numerous incidences of trolls impersonating victims or spreading false rumors around those who may have perished in the attacks.

—Assma Maad and Marie Le Conte

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Laurence Olding, a 32-year-old British national who survived the Nice attack, described the moment to Sky News:

We were enjoying the fireworks display, there were all ages and nationalities and races there, everyone was having a great time. We were heading back to our apartment and we turned to hear lots of commotion, shrieking and shouting.

Then we saw a truck coming down, probably 30 or 40 mph, careering from side to side. Everyone was running. We didn't know what to do so we turned around, it got quite close to us. I decided to jump over the wall and landed on the concrete, which was further down that i anticipated. We were very lucky.

Laurence Olding, a British national, and a survivor of the #NiceAttack, recounts what happened to him last night https://t.co/BuTeWBJk5Y

—Rossalyn Warren

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They were greeted by President François Hollande, who has also arrived at Nice airport. Touching down, Hollande spoke to security and army officials already on the ground.

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Theresa May has said Britain stands "shoulder to shoulder" with France after the attack in Nice, which has claimed 84 lives so far.

She confirmed she would chair a cobra meeting with senior officials, where they will determine what they know and how they can help France and the French people.

May refused to confirm comments made by her newly appointed foreign secretary Boris Johnson that one Briton was among those wounded in Nice, but told reporters that the "full picture is still emerging".

She continued: "We are working urgently to establish whether there are British nationals involved who have been caught up in this attack."

The new PM also addressed fears of copycat attacks in the U.K. "The threat level here in the United Kingdom is already severe, that means a terrorist attack is highly likely," she said.

"Senior officials will be reviewing whether there's any other action we need to take." She added British security services and police are "ever vigilant".

It follows London mayor Sadiq Khan's announcement this morning that his office would be reviewing the capital's security measures in the wake of the attack. Like May, Khan also sought to reassure people, telling reporters at Gatwick airport that London Metropolitan police officers and security officials would do "everything possible to keep Londoners safe".

May's statement in full:

I am shocked and saddened by the horrifying attack in Nice last night.

Our hearts go out to the French people and all those who have lost loved ones or been injured.

While the full picture is still emerging it seems that at least 80 people are feared dead and many others have been injured.

These were innocent victims enjoying a national celebration with their friends and families.

We are working urgently to establish whether any British nationals were caught up in the attack – our ambassador is traveling to Nice today with consular staff and they will be doing all they can to help anyone affected.

I've asked by deputy national security adviser to chair a Cobra meeting of senior officials to review what we know and what we can do to help.

And I will speak to President Hollande today and make clear the United Kingdom stands shoulder to shoulder with France today as we have so often in the past

If as we fear this was a terrorist attack then we must redouble our efforts to defeat these brutal murderers who want to destroy our way of life. We must work with France and our partners around the world to stand up for our values and for our freedom.

—Patrick Smith

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Sylvie Bermann, French ambassador to Britain, told reporters outside the London embassy that "all our thoughts are with the victims and the families of the victims".

"The 14th of July is a very symbolic day. It is a symbol of liberté, egalité and fraternité. And I think that is what terrorists want to fight."

Bermann said Boris Johnson, the U.K.'s newly appointed foreign minister, had been at the embassy only yesterday to celebrate the French national holiday. She added: "France is a strong country, it is resilient country, it is united country. We are determined to fight against terrorism. And we will be strong than terrorists."

In France, right-wing leader Marine Le Pen has said her country must "declare" war against Islamic radicalism.

"Bastille Day, the day when we celebrate our country, its freedom, a day of happiness for French people was transformed yesterday into a day of profound, immense pain," Le Pen, leader of the Front National (FN) said in a statement posted on her party's website.

"The war against the scourge of radical Islam hasn't started, it is now urgent to declare it," she continued. "We must now add action to shock and compassion," the statement went on to say.

– Rose Troup Buchanan

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Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, was named by local newspaper Nice-Martin as the truck driver.

Bouhlel, a French citizen originally from Tunisia, is reported to have worked as a delivery driver in the area surrounding Nice. BuzzFeed News has been unable to independently verify this information.

– Rose Troup Buchanan

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Stephanie Simpson, the communications director for the Lenval foundation hospital in Nice, said some of those children were "still life and death."

Over the phone, she told the Associated Press her staff were treating injuries that included fractures and head injuries.

Simpson was unable to recall the number of children being treated, but she said the hospital was offering emergency counseling to the families of those affected. She issued a call for families of children in the hospital prior to the attack to come and collect their children to make way for the sudden influx in patients.

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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Federico Lombardi, a spokesperson for the Vatican, released the following statement this morning:

Throughout the night we have followed with great concern the terrible news from Nice. On behalf of Pope Francis, we join in solidarity with the suffering of the victims and of the entire French people this day that should have been a great holiday.

"We condemn in the strongest way every demonstration of senseless violence, of hatred, terrorism and any attack against peace.

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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London mayor says security measures under "review" following Nice attacks

Sadiq Khan said that following the attacks in Nice, which have claimed the lives of 84 people so far, he would be placing London's own security systems under review.

He offered Londoners reassurance in the wake of the "poisonous and twisted" attack, and said the capital "stood united" with France.

"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," he told the Press Association during a pre-scheduled visit to Gatwick Airport.

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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Speaking in Paris on Friday morning, Manuel Valls said French President François Hollande has announced there will be three days of national mourning, beginning on Saturday.

"Terrorism is a threat that is weighing heavily on France," said Prime Minister Valls.

Addressing the nation, he said: "We're faced with a war that terrorism has brought against us. The goal of the terrorists is to make us scared.

"We won't give in to the terrorist threat, we must stand together, united. France has been once again struck in our flesh."

Valls added: "Times have changed and we should learn to live with terrorism. We have to show solidarity and collective calm. France has been hit in its soul on the 14 July, our national day.

"They wanted to attack the unity of the French nation. The only dignified response is that France will remain loyal to the spirit of the 14 July and its values."

Valls said prosecutors in Paris have taken control of the investigation.

The French parliament will decide next Wednesday and Thursday on whether to extend the national state of emergency for three months, as requested by President Hollande.

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In a statement released this morning, Number 10 confirmed the PM was being kept informed on all updates from Nice. This is the full statement:

The Prime Minister is being kept updated on reports coming in from Nice.

We are shocked and concerned by the scenes there. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this terrible incident on what was a day of national celebration.

The FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] are in touch with the local authorities to seek more information and we stand ready to help any British nationals and to support our French partners."

May, who is only in her second full day in office following a tumultuous past three weeks in British politics, had been expected to travel to Scotland to meet with the Scottish leader, Nicola Sturgeon.

The head of the British army also expressed his sympathy.

Our thoughts and sympathy @BritishArmy with @armeedeterre at this tragic moment

—Rose Troup Buchanan

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Brendan Cox, whose wife Jo was murdered one month ago today, urged people to come together in the wake of the Nice tragedy. His wife's funeral is due to be held today.

Jo wld ask us not 2 fight hate with hate but draw together 2 drain the swamp that extremism breeds in.Thinking of all victims of hatred 2day

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Boris Johnson has condemned the "absolutely appalling" events in France. "Clearly this represents a continuing threat to us, and the whole of Europe," he said.

"The only information that I have is that there is one U.K. national who is injured," Johnson told reporters outside his London home, before he headed to Downing Street to meet with officials.

"Our thoughts are with the people of France" after #NiceAttack, @Boris Johnson says https://t.co/D1KXspys2k https://t.co/hf9j84kPlY

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As many as 10 children have been killed in the attack, the mayor of Nice has said

Après drame d'hier à #Nice06, réunion de crise avec élus, cabinet et directeurs généraux @VilledeNice @MetropoleNCA

Christian Estrosi told local media that more than 10 children were among the victims of the attack. He said his country needed to think carefully about how it responded to this latest atrocity, the seventh in France since 2012.

"Attacks aren't prepared alone. Attacks are prepared with accomplices," Estrosi said, according to the Associated Press. "There is a chain of complicity. I expect it to be unveiled, discovered, and kept up to date."

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Mohammed Moussaoui, the president of the French council of Muslims, has called on Muslims to get out and give blood. He added that Muslims should remember the victims in their weekly Friday prayers.

He told the Europe 1 radio station: "I call on everyone, to all mosques to launch blood drives because the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region is suffering from a lack of blood.

"I call on all Muslims in the region to get out today, as they prepare for Friday prayers and remember all the victims."

Shortly after he spoke, France's national blood transfusion organization issued a statement on Twitter saying there was no more need for short-term blood donations.

Les besoins en produits sanguins sont couverts. Nous vous invitons à vous mobiliser dans la durée. Pas d'appel au don de l'EFS.

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Leaders from around the world have expressed their sorrow in wake of the truck attack in Nice, and declared their solidarity with the people of France.

U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the attacks in the "strongest terms", and the Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull tweeted: "We mourn for the victims of another murderous act of terror in France overnight, on Bastille Day." Canadian PM Justin Trudeau also tweeted: "Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people."

French President François Hollande wrote a message in French saying: "France is tearful, sorrowful, but it is strong and will be always be stronger than the zealots who now want to attack it."

In Paris, President Hollande held a meeting of the Council of security and defence.

Le Conseil restreint de sécurité et de défense est en cours autour de @fhollande après le terrible attentat de #Nice

—Michelle Broder Van Dyke, Rossalyn Warren

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The death toll has risen to 84 people, including children, following the attack in Nice, south France, AFP reports. A further 18 people are in critical condition in hospital.

Blood banks in the area urged people to donate blood, as their stocks often "ran low" in the summer months.

At least three Australians were injured in the "horrific" attack, the country's Interior Minister Julie Bishop confirmed to ABC News. The U.K.'s Foreign Office said it is "standing by" to help those caught up in the attack. British Ambassador to France Julian King said he was traveling to Nice to provide what assistance he could.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that extra police and legal teams were being deployed to Nice to help identify those killed.

Details about the victims have started to emerge. Two Americans, 52-year-old Sean Copeland and 10-year-old Brodie Copeland, are among those who were killed while celebrating Bastille Day.

If you're a UK citizen in #Nice, here's the Embassy in Paris' emergency 24 helpline number +33 1 44 51 3 100 #NiceAttack

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the attack in Nice

CAIR released a statement condemning the attack in Nice, France, and also condemning former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's suggestion to "test" and deport "every person here who is of a Muslim background."

We condemn this bloody massacre as we have condemned previous ISIS or ISIS-inspired atrocities and the deviant ideology that produces such senseless and cowardly violence. We are praying for the people of Nice, the victims of another outrageous attack on humanity.

As we mourn the victims and determine how best to protect people of all faiths and backgrounds from such brutal attacks, let us not help the recruiting efforts of ISIS and other terror groups by blaming all Muslims for the murders in France.

When former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggests that American Muslims be subjected to an Inquisition-style religious test and then expelled from their homes and nation, he plays into the hands of terror recruiters and betrays the American values he purports to uphold.
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Identity papers belonging to a 31-year-old French-Tunisian man were found inside the truck that on Thursday plowed into crowds in Nice, AFP reported.

Authorities were working to determine if the ID belonged to the driver of the truck, who was fatally shot by police.

Guns and grenades were also found inside the truck, authorities said earlier in the evening.

Prosecutors would formally release the identity of the man once it was confirmed, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazenueve said.

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Dallas lights up in solidarity with Nice

Blue for us. Red, white, blue for #France. Double sadness. Double resolve. @NBCDFW #NBCDFWNow

Dallas's skyline on Thursday lit up with the French flag, even as some buildings still shone blue in honor of the five police officers killed in an ambush attack last week.

The lone shooter in Dallas had targeted police officers among a crowd of protesters. Some in the community said they considered it terrorism, although the FBI is allowing local police to lead the investigation.

#Dallas 7/14/16 #Nice #StandUnited

.@BankofAmerica in blue for us and @OmniHotels in blue, white and red for France. #PrayForNice

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Death toll rises to 80, French interior minister says

The death toll in the Nice, France, attack rose to 80 early Friday, with 18 remaining in critical condition, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazenueve said.

To help process the massive crime scene, in which a truck plowed through a mile's worth of crowded street, Cazenueve said he was sending 60 investigative officials to the city, and that all public demonstrations will be banned in the coming days.

A public prosecutor would be put in charge of disseminating updates on the investigation moving forward.

"We knew that the threat of terrorism remained very high," he said, adding that France "must continue to be mobilized — we are at war with terrorists."

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French President François Hollande said the terrorist attack late Thursday in Nice was an "absolute horror" and that he would extend the national state of emergency for three months in response.

"France is afflicted, but France is strong, and France will always be stronger than the fanatics that want to strike France today," he said in an early morning address to the nation.

The truck that rammed a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day had killed 77 people, Hollande said, including several children. Twenty people remained critically injured.

On July 26, Hollande was expected to end a state of emergency instituted after the Paris terror attacks in November. Instead, Hollande said he would be mobilizing soldiers and reserves and increase the manpower on the nation's streets and borders.

"This terrorist attack is, again, an absolute violent act and it is very clear that we must do everything we can to fight against the scourge of terrorism," Hollande said.

He also vowed to keep up the nation's offensive against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

"Nothing will lead us to give up our fight against terrorism," he said.

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Photos from Nice, France, showed the devastating aftermath of what officials said appears to have been a terrorist attack.

The resort city's beachfront Promenade des Anglais was left strewn with bodies after a truck plowed through crowds that had assembled for a fireworks show. Survivors embraced, paramedics worked to treat the wounded, and police and soldiers began their investigation.

By early Friday morning, local officials said at least 77 people had died. Some of the victims appeared to have been children.