World leaders and intellectuals respond to Nice attack

World leaders and intellectuals respond to Nice attack
World leaders sent out messages of condolence and support to the French people early on Friday morning, promising to stand by the country's side during its time of need.
3 min read
15 Jul, 2016
France is in shock after Thursday's horrific attack in Nice [AFP]
World leaders rallied around French President Francois Hollande on Friday morning, who had made another sombre address to his people saying France has once again been under attack.

Nice - a resort in the south of France - witnessed terror and tragedy late Thursday night, when a lorry deliberately spun into crowds along a two kilometre stretch of road in the heart of the city.

Boulevard de Anglais was left strewn with bodies following the attack. Body bags held the remains of people who just hours before were celebrating the most French of holidays - Bastille Day.

It was clear that among the dead were babies and children, mowed down or shot by the driver of the lorry who authorities believe was almost certainly inspired by an extremist ideology.

US President Barack Obama echoed the French president in describing the event as a "horrific terrorist attack".

"We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack," he said in a statement.

"On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world."

US Secretary of State John Kerry had been in the capital Paris hours earlier, to watch a Bastille Day parade.

"The United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy. We will provide whatever support is needed."

On Twitter, popular Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - whose country has a large French-speaking minority - addressed the tragedy.

"Canadians are shocked by tonight's attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people."

He also shared the message on his Twitter page in French:

UK Prime Minister Theresa May - who moved into Number 10 just the night before - called the attack "a terrible incident", and said she would fully support the country's European ally in a statement.

Newly appointed UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson - who was at the French ambassador to the UK's Bastille Day party that night - also marked the tragedy. 

The UN Security Council described the attack as "barbaric and cowardly" and unanimously adopted a French-drafted statement that "condemned in the strongest terms" the attack.

Meanwhile, Swiss academic and professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University also condemned the attacks.