WASHINGTON DC, USA (UPDATED) – US President Barack Obama on Thursday, July 14, strongly condemned what he said appeared to be a “horrific terrorist attack” in Nice.
Offering assistance to investigate the attack which left at least 84 people dead, Obama vowed to help France “bring those responsible to justice.”
“On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians,” Obama said in a statement.
A truck plowed into a crowd in the French Riviera resort town after a Bastille Day fireworks display, sending hundreds fleeing in terror and leaving the area strewn with bodies, including those of children, authorities said. (READ: Attack in Nice: What we know so far)
The driver of the truck was shot dead after traveling more than a mile (two kilometers) through the crowd on the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais.
“We stand in solidarity and partnership with France, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack,” Obama said. (READ: France to extend state of emergency by 3 months following attack in Nice)
“We know that the character of the French Republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life,” Obama added.
“On this Bastille Day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world.” (READ: Screams, flying debris as truck plows into crowd in Nice)
Secretary of State John Kerry said the US embassy in Paris was attempting to account for American citizens in Nice.
“The United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy. We will provide whatever support is needed,” Kerry said in a statement.
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump, both weighed amid the busy campaign season.
Trump cancelled his plans on Friday, July 15, to announce a vice presidential running mate “out of respect for this horrific situation.”
Speaking on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” Trump said that if elected he would ask Congress for a “declaration of war” to combat global terrorism.
“This is war. If you look at it, this is war. Coming from all different parts,” Trump said.
“And we’re dealing with people without uniforms. In the old days, we would have uniforms. You would know who you’re fighting.”
Speaking on the same program, Clinton stressed the US need to “strengthen our alliances” with European partners and NATO.
“We’ve got to do more to understand that this is a war against these terrorist groups, the radical jihadist groups,” she said. “It’s a different kind of war.”
Clinton also called for “an intelligence surge” to improve information exchange across the Atlantic. – Rappler.com