A truck slammed into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France on Thursday night, killing 84 people and injuring dozens. At least 10 children are among the dead, according to French President Francois Hollande. Police killed the driver, who also fired on the crowd gathered along the Promenade des Anglais, a long street that cuts through the center of Nice and hugs the city's coastline.
The truck, which was loaded with firearms and grenades, had driven onto a sidewalk for more than a mile before it was all over. Officials are calling the massacre an attack, although no group has taken responsibility. Hollande said the attack was of a "terrorist character."
"France is tearful, sorrowful, but it is strong and will be always more than the zealots who now want to hit her," he said in a tweet.
The name of the attacker has not been released, but authorities found identity papers alongside the driver that belonged to a 31-year-old Frenchman of Tunisian descent who was known as a petty criminal, according to The Associated Press. He had no known ties to terrorist groups.
The Thursday night attack came just as a fireworks display had ended and people had gotten up to leave, according to Damien Allemand, a Nice journalist who witnessed the attack. "An enormous white truck came along at a crazy speed, turning the wheel to mow down the maximum number of people," he told The Associated Press.
"I saw bodies flying like bowling pins along its route," he added. "Heard noises, cries that I will never forget."
Footage of the attack shows the moment the white truck plowed into the crowd. Warning: the footage is disturbing.
Witnesses described the aftermath in horrific terms, with scenes of panic and carnage. "We were enjoying the celebrations when we suddenly saw people running everywhere and tables being pushed down by the movement of panic,"Daphne Burandé, 15, told The New York Times.
"It's a scene of horror," another witness said.
The crowd had gathered along the beach to watch fireworks and celebrate Bastille Day, which marks the start of the French Revolution in 1790. It's akin to July 4 in the U.S.
Earlier in the night before the attacks took place, Hollande said in an interview that France's state of emergency, in effect since November when terrorists killed 130 people in Paris, would be lifted. But, during a press conference hours after the attack, he said the state of emergency must be extended for three months. He's also putting 10,000 military members on patrol in France, particularly at the borders, as well as calling on the military reserves to reinforce police
"France as a whole is under the threat of Islamic terrorism," he said. "We have to demonstrate absolute vigilance and show determination that is unfailing."
President Obama, calling France America's "oldest ally," condemned the attacks and praised "the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world."
Both of America's presidential candidates responded to the attacks, saying America and its allies are at "war" with terrorists. Donald Trump, who postponed announcing his running mate on Friday because of the attacks, said he'd ask Congress for a formal declaration of war.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who is Trump's likely running mate, also issued a statement, saying America must defeat this "enemy of civilization at its source."
Hillary Clinton offered a more measured tone, saying it's a "different kind of war and we need to be smart about how we wage it and win it."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.