India condemns Nice terror attack, expresses solidarity with France

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday condemned the deadly terror attack in Nice resort city of France after a trucker loaded with weapons and hand grenades killed at least 80 people who had gathered to watch fireworks on the occasion of Bastille Day celebrations late Thursday. Condemning the attack, President Mukherjee said, “India stands shoulder to shoulder with the people and Government of France.”

“I am shocked to hear about the terrorist attack on an innocent crowd of people gathered to celebrate the Bastille Day in Nice, France. I strongly condemn the perpetrators of the terrorist attack in France,” President Mukherjee said in a series of tweets.

“We will strengthen our cooperation with France and other countries in the fight against terrorism. Heartfelt condolences to families of bereaved; prayers for speedy recovery of injured in attack,” he added. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Modi said, “Appalled by the horrific attack in Nice.

I strongly condemn such mindless acts of violence. My thoughts are with the families of deceased. I hope the injured recover soon. India shares the pain and stands firmly with our French sisters and brothers in this hour of immense sadness.” Congress president Sonia Gandhi also condemned the attack, saying it reflects deep resentment to peace and democratic values.

“The Congress party stands firmly with the people of France in these difficult times,” she said. In a statement, Gandhi expressed deepest condolences to the families of those killed and called for “strict action” and “harshest punishment” against those who are behind these attacks. Just hours after announcing in the traditional Bastille Day interview that the state of emergency, in place since November attacks that killed 130 in Paris, was to be removed, France President Francois Hollande said it must be extended for three months.

“The attack was ‘undeniably’ of a ‘terrorist nature’. The state of emergency that was implemented in the awake of the November terror attacks in Paris and was supposed to end on July 26 will be extended by another three months,” said President Hollande. The President said France would “again reinforce its (military) action in Iraq and Syria”.

“France as a whole is under the threat of Islamic terrorism. We have to demonstrate absolute vigilance and show determination that is unfailing,” says Hollande, who announced that he would visit Nice on Friday to express his support for the city.

Since the November 13th terror attacks in Paris, France had been under a State of Emergency, and authorities were on high alert due to UEFA Euro 2016, the European men’s football championship taking place. Meanwhile, the truck driver has been identified as Nice Matin, a man of Tunisian origin from Nice.

His identity papers were found in the cab of the lorry, Sky News reported. The man, believed to be 31, fired on crowds of people before he was shot dead by police, reported Residents have been told to stay indoors as the emergency services work at the scene. (ANI)