PARIS (Sputnik) – The attack occurred on Promenade des Anglais in Nice on Thursday night, when a white truck rammed into a large crowd of people who were celebrating Bastille Day and watching fireworks.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that 80 people, including children, were killed in the attack. French President Francois Hollande confirmed that 77 people were killed.
According to BFM TV, the truck travelled across a distance of about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) smashing people. According to Le Figaro, the driver fired at the crowd as he drove.
The driver was shot dead by police, French Interior Ministry spokesperson Pierre-Henry Brandet has confirmed. According to ID documents found inside the truck, the driver was a 31-year-old man who was a resident of Nice of Tunisian origin.
It is not yet clear whether he had accomplices. The driver was known to police for small crimes but was never investigated by intelligence, according to iTELE.
Weapons and grenades were found inside of the truck, President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Christian Estrosi said.
LINKS TO TERRORISM INVESTIGATED
Anti-terrorism prosecutors are now investigating the deadly Nice attack.
Hollande said the "terrorist nature [of the attack] cannot be denied" stressing that France is under the threat of Islamist terrorism. Cazeneuve emphasized that the terrorist threat remains extremely high in France.
According to Hollande, the effectiveness of police will be increased, including on the borders, and "the state of emergency that was going to end on July 26 will be prolonged for three months." Hollande said earlier on Thursday that France would not be extending its state of emergency.
France's Defense Council will hold a meeting on Friday in connection with the attack, following which the French leader would head to Nice along with the Prime Minister, Manuel Valls.
French Health Minister Marisol Touraine has left the French capital and has already arrived in Nice along with Interior Minister Cazeneuve.
Nice is cancelling all celebratory events and will lower flags following the deadly truck attack, according to President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur Christian Estrosi.
Promenade des Anglais in Nice will be closed to traffic throughout Friday, a statement on the official City of Nice Twitter account says.
World leaders and high ranking officials have strongly condemned the Nice attack, expressing their condolences to the families of the victims.
The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar started with a minute of silence on Friday in light of the deadly Nice truck attack.
A hospital employee told Sputnik that most of those injured in the Nice attack are foreigners.