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Three days of national mourning have been declared following the Nice attacks

84 people have been confirmed dead after a lorry ploughed into crowds at the Bastille Day festivities in Nice, France, last night.

The driver, now identified as 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhel, sped down Promenade des Anglasis before stopping near Rue de Congreś where he engaged in gunfire with the police. Around 4 minutes later at 11:04pm, the gunman was shot and killed by police.

The victims, many of them children, had gathered to watch the firework displays marking Bastille Day, one of the most important National holidays in France.

A terrorism of opportunity

French authorities have confirmed it was a terror attack, although no specific terror group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

President François Hollande called the attack “terrorism of opportunity” at a 4am address, and announced three days of mourning and an extended national emergency. He now faces political backlash over the country’s struggling security services.

The French authorities continue to come under fire as more information is released about the attacker. A report released by Le Monde has revealed that Bouhel was recently arrested for a fight after a traffic dispute and that he was armed with a pistol.

 

This marks an addition to several attacks in France since 2015; including the shooting of journalists at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine that left 17 dead, and the attack on various restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall that left 130 dead.

President Hollande has condemned the attacks, but insists the country will remain strong: “France is tearful. It is afflicted, but it is strong and will always be stronger, I can assure you, than the fanatics that want to strike it today.”