(VOA NEWS) – A driver killed 84 people and injured more than 100 others when he steered his speeding truck into a crowd in Nice Thursday night at a celebration of Bastille Day, France’s independence holiday. France’s president said some 50 people are critically injured, many of them children. Many foreigners and police officers are also believed to be among the dead.
The attacker has been identified by French police as 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a French-Tunisian who lived in Nice. Reports say security services did not suspect him of links to terrorist or extremist groups, although he had been known to police for drug and criminal offenses.
No group has claimed responsibility, although the attack was celebrated online by Islamic State supporters. In an address to the nation, French President Francois Holland said the attack was done “to satisfy the cruelty of an individual and maybe a group.” Speaking after visiting the hospital where victims were treated, he also said that France was “facing a struggle which will be long.”
President Barack Obama issued a statement and called it a “horrific terrorist attack” and said the U.S. had offered assistance in the investigation. READ MORE OF THIS REPORT