January 18, 2019

Nice Attack: French President To Hold Crisis Talks

French President Francois Hollande is to chair crisis talks with his inner security cabinet following Thursday’s attack in Nice that killed 84 people.

Hollande, who says the attack was a terrorist act, has already extended a state of emergency by three months.

On Thursday, a lorry driver ploughed through a crowd marking Bastille Day on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais.

The driver was later shot dead by police. He was identified as Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31.

Prosecutors said he had driven the lorry 2km (1.2 miles) along the famous promenade, zigzagging and targeting people.

Ten of the dead were children. Some 202 people were injured; 52 are critical, of whom 25 are on life support.

At the meeting with the security chiefs, Hollande is expected to review all available options in response to the attack.

In a televised address to the nation on Thursday night, he pledged that army reservists would be called up to help provide security across the country.

A state of emergency was in place across France since November’s Paris attacks carried out by militants from the so-called Islamic State group, in which 130 people died.

The emergency had been due to end on July 26, reports the BBC.

Hollande said the attack was of “an undeniable terrorist nature”.

He warned that the battle against terrorism would be long, as France faced an enemy “that will continue to attack those people and those countries that count liberty as an essential value”.

“We will overcome the suffering because we are a united France,” he said.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that no group had admitted carrying out the attack but that it bore the hallmarks of jihadist terrorism.

Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove the 19-tonne lorry into crowds at about 22:45 local time (20:45 GMT).

He fired at officers with a 7.65mm calibre automatic pistol when the vehicle was close to the Negresco hotel and continued for another 300m, where his vehicle was stopped near the Palais de la Mediterranee hotel and he was shot dead.

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