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84 Dead in France After Bastille Day Attack

Truck drives for more than a mile into crowd celebrating French National day in Nice

A truck plowed into a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France, on Thursday, killing up to 84 people and injuring dozens more.

As crowds celebrating French National Day gathered along the Riviera city’s Promenade des Anglais to watch a fireworks display, a cargo truck careened down the street for more than a mile, reportedly zig-zagging to maximize pedestrian casualties.

The driver was killed by authorities, after what Agence France Presse reports was an exchange of gunfire. It is unclear whether or not there were any accomplices, but a number of guns and grenades were found aboard the truck.

French newspaper Nice-Matin is reporting that the suspect was a 31-year-old Nice resident of Tunisian origin, but authorities have yet to release any official details concerning the perpetrator’s identity.

The motive for the attack remains unclear, but AP reports that anti-terrorism authorities have taken over the investigation of what President Obama says “appears to be a horrific terrorist attack.” No one has yet claimed credit for the tragedy.

Obama released a statement condemning the attacks, saying, “We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack. 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.”

French President Francois Hollande spoke around 3:30 a.m. local time, vowing to extend the nation’s state of emergency an additional three months just hours after announcing it would soon be lifted. The emergency status had been in place since a terrorist siege in Paris on Nov. 13 killed 130 people killed in a wave of coordinated attacks across several locations over the course of one night.