Following Attack, France Declares 3 Days of National Mourning

NICE, France (AP) -
Emergency services vehicles work on the scene after a truck, left, plowed through Bastille Day revelers in the French resort city of Nice, France, Thursday, July 14, 2016. France was ravaged by its third attack in two years when a large white truck mowed through revelers gathered for Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, killing at dozens of people as it bore down on the crowd for more than a mile along the Riviera city's famed seaside promenade. (Sasha Goldsmith via AP)
Emergency services vehicles work on the scene after a truck (L)  plowed through Bastille Day revelers in the French resort city of Nice, France, Thursday night. (Sasha Goldsmith via AP)

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the government is declaring three days of national mourning after the attack in Nice that left at least 84 people dead. Speaking after an emergency meeting, Valls said the national mourning would begin Saturday. He confirmed that a measure extending the country’s state of emergency would go before lawmakers next week.

Valls and French President François Hollande were going to Nice later Friday.

Eric Ciotti, a lawmaker for the region that includes Nice, said earlier that some people tried to escape the attack by going into the sea, giving new details of the horrifying last minutes of the attack in Nice.

“A person jumped onto the truck to try to stop it,” Ciotti told Europe 1 radio. “It’s at that moment that the police were able to neutralize this terrorist. I won’t forget the look of this policewoman who intercepted the killer.”

Christian Estrosi, the regional president in Nice, said some of the city’s 1,200 security cameras had pinpointed the moment the terrorist boarded the truck, far from the seaside “in the hills of Nice” and could follow his path to the promenade. Estrosi called for the investigation to focus on any accomplices.

“Attacks aren’t prepared alone. Attacks are prepared with accomplices,” Estrosi said. “There is a chain of complicity. I expect it to be unveiled, discovered and kept up to date.”

Estrosi said more than 10 children were among the dead, and he said France needed to think carefully about its next response to attacks, as previous responses were not enough to protect the people.