UN condemns attack in Nice; world leaders offer support

UNITED NATIONS (4th UPDATE) – The United Nations condemned the suspected terror attack in the French Riviera resort of Nice on Thursday, July 14, while world leaders have offered their support to France. 

The UN Security Council strongly condemned the "barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack" that took place during France's Bastille Day celebrations. 

At least 84 people including children were killed and dozens injured when the attacker drove a truck through a crowd watching a fireworks display to mark the holiday. (READ: Attack in Nice: What we know so far)

The council unanimously adopted a French-drafted statement that "condemned in the strongest terms" the attack and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

The council reaffirmed that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to world peace and security.

"Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable," said the statement from the 15 council members. (READ: Screams, flying debris as truck plows into crowd in Nice)

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May, who became prime minister on Wednesday, July 13 after 6 years as Britain's interior minister, is already being briefed on the "terrible incident".

A Downing Street spokesman said they "stand ready to help any British nationals and to support our French partners."

"We are in touch with the local authorities and seeking more information following an apparent attack on Bastille Day celebration in Nice," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

"If you are in the area, follow the instructions of the French authorities," he added, in a message to British citizens.

Boris Johnson, whose first engagement as Britain's new foreign secretary was at the French ambassador's Bastille Day party in London, said on Twitter: "Shocked and saddened by the appalling events in Nice, and the terrible loss of life."

European Council President Donald Tusk called it "a sad day for France, for Europe". He said it was "tragic" that "the subjects of the attack were people celebrating liberty, equality and fraternity."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also pledged his support to France.

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

Canadians are shocked by tonight's attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people. — Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 14, 2016

"We stand with those injured and the families of the many killed," said Canadian opposition leader Thomas Mulcair, head of the New Democratic Party and a French citizen by marriage.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who had himself been in Paris earlier in the day for a Bastille Day parade, said: "The United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy. We will provide whatever support is needed."

Germany "stands alongside France in the fight against terrorism," Chancellor Angela Merkel said, adding that "words can barely express" what France's allies felt.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim – whose own country suffered deadly suicide bombings at Istanbul's airport two weeks ago – condemned the "cowardly terrorist attack that has bloodied Nice on this national celebration day".

The Vatican said in a statement that it "condemned in the strongest possible terms" the bloodshed in Nice.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy evoked "the pain of all good people, who are potential victims of barbarism, folly and the greatest contempt for human life".

The Kremlin said Russia was "in solidarity with the people of France during these difficult days."

US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said: "Every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France, and we say with one voice: we will not be intimidated. We will never allow terrorists to undermine the egalitarian and democratic values that underpin our very way of life."

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also offered his "condolences" to the victims and said China opposed all forms of terrorism.

Latin American leaders also condemned the carnage, with Brazilian interim president Michel Temer declaring: "Today, more than ever, we are all French."

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa added that he was sending France "a hug" after "a tragedy caused by insanity".

The attack was the 3rd major strike against France in less than 18 months and prosecutors said anti-terrorist investigators would handle the probe. (READ: #PrayForNice: Netizens mourn deaths in France truck 'attack')

It comes 8 months after Islamic State attacks on Paris nightspots left 130 people dead, dealing a hard blow to tourism in one of the world's top destinations. 

US President Barack Obama also condemned "what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack," although no group had yet claimed responsibility.

French President Francois Hollande announced he would extend France's state of emergency for 3 months in the wake of this latest attack and "step up" the government's action against jihadists in Syria and Iraq.  Rappler.com