A lorry struck a crowd after Bastille Day celebrations in the southern French city of Nice, killing at least 80 people. About 50 people were injured, 18 of them critically. The driver was shot dead and guns and grenades were found inside the lorry. President Francois Hollande said the attack was of a “terrorist nature”. He said he was extending a state of emergency by three months.
France had been on high alert following last November’s attacks in Paris in which 130 people died and hundreds were wounded. The state of emergency had been due to end on 26 July.
The attack is the third major strike against France in less than 18 months.
Over the past week, France had been breathing a sigh of relief after successfully hosting the month-long Euro 2016 football championship, which passed off without incident despite fears of attacks.
The tournament brought an all-too-brief burst of joy to a gloomy France, bogged down after the two attacks in 2015, violent anti-government protests, strikes and floods.