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A man drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the city of Nice yesterday and then opened fire, with 84 people losing their lives before the police shot him down, world media report. Hundreds were injured, many of them children. According to the police, the truck was loaded with weapons, including grenades.
Multiple sources note that the use of a truck as a weapon is new and signals the evolution of the terrorist threat. The Nice police were prepared for terrorist activity, and the fact that it missed the attacker highlights the importance of this evolution.
France was a week away from ending the state of emergency installed after the terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed 130 and injured hundreds more. Now, the state of emergency has been extended for three more months.
Witness and police reports describe a sequence of events that could have come straight out of a Stephen King novel. The truck accelerated and tore into the crowd, gathered on the Promenade in Nice to mark France’s greatest national holiday. After driving through people for two kilometers, the driver began shooting into the crowds until he himself was shot and killed by the police.
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Police said the driver, 31, had documents showing he had joint French and Tunisian citizenship. At the time of publishing this report, it still remains unclear whether he acted alone or had accomplices. The suspect had been known to the Nice police, it emerged as the investigation gathered pace: he had been booked for common crimes, including violence. However, he was unknown by intelligence services, the Guardian quoted a police source as saying.
Just a couple of days before the terror attack, Patrick Calvar, chief of France’s intelligence services, warned that there is increased likelihood of terrorists using booby-trapped cars and bombs in attacks in a bid to kill more people. The warning was part of Calvar’s testimony in front of a parliamentary commission tasked with examining how French security services fight terrorism, after a government investigation concluded that intelligence failures, both in France and abroad, had contributed to the failure of avoiding the November attacks in Paris.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.