Islamists hit France again. Will the world awaken to evil?

From the UK Sun

By Tess de la Mare and Jonathan Reilly, Tom Michael and Peter Allen

AT least 77 people were killed last night and hundreds more injured in a terror attack during Bastille Day celebrations in southern France.

A lorry ploughed through crowds “like a bowling ball” for more than a mile as families and friends   watched the annual fireworks display on the streets of Nice.

Police and ambulances descended on the chaotic scene, with medics desperately trying to help the injured.

The truck driver was said to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” — God is greatest — before being killed in a gun battle with cops.

A second man was believed to be on the run.

Police said guns and grenades were found in the vehicle alongside the driver.

Dozens of victims were seen lying injured on Promenade des Anglais along the city’s famous waterfront.

Other petrified revellers threw themselves in the sea to escape the carnage.

Heavily armed security forces have now descended on the area amid a security crackdown

One witness said: “The whole area is pedestrianised and the lorry came down the south side.

“It crushed the crowd like a bowling ball. Everything in its path was crushed.”

Another revealed: “The lorry turned towards the crowds and the driver just put his foot down.

“It caused mass panic and a stampede away. It was terrifying.”

It was the second worst terror attack in French history, behind November’s atrocities in Paris.

The white lorry was reported to have mounted the pavement at about 40mph and steered directly towards men, women and children, some of whom were still dressed for the beach.

One eyewitness who works for the Nice authorities said: “It is absolute chaos. Bodies are lying everywhere. Police are flooding the streets, including anti-terrorism officers.

“Nobody knows what to do — except to hide away.”

As the lorry speeded up, police marksmen were seen shooting at the windscreen, killing the driver.

One British family caught up in the horror told how they fled as the lorry ploughed into the crowd.

Harjit Sarang was on holiday in Nice — where the England football team played Iceland in Euro 2016 two weeks ago — with her husband and sons, aged six and nine.

Lawyer Harjit, from London, said:  “We were told about the fireworks by someone in the hotel and decided to go along.

“I was going to leave my husband to take the boys because I was tired but I am so glad I didn’t.

“The fireworks had finished when we saw people running and screaming.

“It was sheer panic and, with the volume of people, it was a crowd mentality.

“We started running. It was so difficult to stay together and to stay calm, especially with two small boys.

“We just ran, we panicked, not even knowing in which direction our hotel was.

“My eldest son was yelling at us, ‘Why have you brought me here? I’m never coming here again’. The worst thing is thinking we took our children into that.”

Videos posted online showed panicked people running from the scene in fear.

Shocking images appearing on social media showed people lying motionless on the ground after the terrifying incident.

Others showed people receiving medical treatment in a chilling echo of the Paris and Brussels terror attacks.

Meanwhile, Facebook has activated its Safety Check for those concerned about the safety of their loved ones.

Another British holidaymaker Esther Serwah, 59, was on her way with her daughters to the Promenade des Anglais for dinner when people started screaming at her.

Mrs Serwah, from Surrey, said: “I was just walking to the Promenade and then I saw everybody running and I just didn’t know what was going on.

“People were screaming at me in French but I didn’t understand.

“People were lying on the streets dead and people were running over the bodies. Everybody was saying it’s a terrorist attack.

“It’s just horrible, horrible, horrible. I’m in shock. I’m still shaking.”

France TV Info reported the dad was with his wife and two kids trying to find an ice cream when panic broke out.

He said: "I was barely 50m from the scene. I gave my wife and my children in a safe spot with the ice cream vendor and I ran, against all my instincts, to see if I could help.

"I shouldn't have done that. What I saw, it was horrible.

"The bodies of crushed women, covered in blood, there was nothing anyone could do to help and I turned and ran back up the road."

Meanwhile, Facebook activated its Safety Check for those concerned about the safety of their loved ones after the attack.

Videos taken in the aftermath showed terrified members of the public running for their lives
Nice’s Mayor Christian Estrosi said the situation was “under control” early today.

Mr Estrosi said on TV: “The driver fired on the crowd, according to the police who killed him.”

The truck had been driven by someone who appeared to have “completely premeditated behaviour” and “was loaded with arms, loaded with grenades”.

The mayor said the city’s hospitals were struggling to cope with a constant stream of victims and added: “This is the most terrible attack we have ever experienced in Nice.”

France’s President Hollande returned to Paris from Avignon for emergency talks.

Last night the country’s anti-terrorism investigation department took over the case.

A Downing Street spokesman said PM Theresa May was being kept up to date with developments in France.

He stressed: “Our thoughts are with those affected by this terrible incident on what was a day of national celebration.”


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