Paris-Only ten hours before the terrorist attack in Nice, French President Francois Hollande was announcing terminating the emergency state and hailing the security procedures taken by the government to avoid attacks similar to those in January and November 2015.
A truck zigzagged along the city’s seafront Promenade des Anglais as fireworks display marking the French national day ended. More than 284 were killed and injured.
The French driver of Tunisian origins, 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was shot dead by officers at the scene. Court of First Instance Spokesperson Sufian al-Sulaiti said that the Tunisian justice is permitted to investigate if the suspect had any accomplices. Moreover, a crisis team has been assembled in Nice by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia to investigate the details of the attack in Nice, in coordination with a unit in Tunisia.
On social media, a video of a veiled Arab woman who was shouting among the crowd, “where is my daughter?” went viral.
The Nice attack showed an intention to kill the highest number possible of victims, a methodology very similar to that followed by Al Qaeda during 11 September attacks. Yet, the Nice attack bears the hallmarks of ISIS that is seeking to reinforce its presence in Europe specifically.
Commenting on the attack, Hollande referred to announcements made the previous day which included the redeployment of the massive Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.
He said: “Nothing will lead us to give in to our will to fight against terrorism. We are going to strengthen our efforts in Syria and Iraq against those who are attacking us on our very soil.”
World countries also denounced the terrorist attack and intensified security measures to protect themselves from similar operations.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz reiterated the Kingdom’s solidarity with France against all acts and forms of terrorism.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan strongly condemned the inhumane terror attack, saying, “Terror has no religion, ethnic and nation. The perpetrators of this bloodthirsty attack have nothing to do with humanity. In fact, this barbaric have no place in this world”.
Secretary of State John Kerry called the attack “horrendous” and noted that Bastille Day is “a day that celebrates Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity”. Similarly, President Barack Obama condemned what “appears to be a horrific terrorist attack” in Nice.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called nations to “redouble” efforts to defeat violent extremists following the attack in Nice. She called the attack “horrifying” and said Britain will stand with France in its time of mourning.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi extended his deepest sympathies to President Hollande and the people of France for “the abhorrent terrorist attack in the French city of Nice.” A statement from the presidential office says Sisi reiterated his support for international efforts to combat terrorism, which “knows neither borders nor religion.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday stressed on the need to intensify “regional and international efforts” to combat terrorism and violent extremism. Ban, in a statement issued by his spokesperson, expressed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of the “horrific act”.
Belgian PM Charles Michel said Friday he would introduce supplementary security measures following the attack in Nice, France, while maintaining a level three alert in the country, the second highest.
French authorities said that the attack bore the hallmarks of ISIS and were investigating to figure out any ties for Bouhlel with ISIS.
ISIS claimed on Saturday responsibility for the attack.
In a statement via its Amaq news service, the terrorist organization said one of its “soldiers” carried out the attack on Thursday night “in response to calls to target nations of coalition states that are fighting (ISIS)”.