Terror attack kills scores in Nice, France

NICE - Scores of people were killed Thursday night when a large truck plowed through a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France, in what President Francois Hollande called a terror attack.

The death toll grew through the night, with Hollande saying 77 people died. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 80 people were killed.

The driver first shot a gun into the crowd before driving two kilometers along the Promenade des Anglais, the main street in Nice, mowing down people who had gathered to watch fireworks, regional President Christian Estrosi told CNN affiliate BFM-TV.

Police shot and killed the driver, said Pierre-Henry Brandet, a spokesman for the French Interior Ministry. Police found firearms, explosives and grenades in the truck, Estrosi said.

"We cannot deny that it was a terror attack," Hollande said in a national television address. He added that the choice of the day -- Bastille Day, when France celebrates its post-French Revolution republic -- was particularly poignant.

He said that the day is a "symbol of liberty," and that "human rights are denied by fanatics and France is quite clearly their target."

Hollande recommended that an existing state of emergency, put in place in the wake of the Paris attacks in November 2015 and due to expire later this month, be extended for three further months.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility. Anti-terror prosecutors have taken over the investigation, according to BFMTV, citing the prosecutor's office.

Leaders around the world have denounced the brutal incident.

U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement saying, "We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack."

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." Brazilian President Michel Temer tweeted: "It is regrettable that on the day [that] eternalized fraternity as the motto of the French people, an attack destroyed the lives of so many citizens."

The United Nations condemned what it termed a "barbaric and cowardly" terror attack in Nice.

As Asia woke up to the horrific news, India, China and South Korea's leaders added their voices to the chorus of condemnation.

"India shares the pain (and) stands firmly with our French sisters (and) brothers in this hour of immense sadness," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

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