French President François Hollande , who on Friday visited the site of the terror attack in Nice and also met many of the injured victims in hospital, said around 50 people were critically wounded “between life and death”.
Hollande, flanked by Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Health Minister Marisol Touraine, said many of the 84 dead included foreigners as well as children.
“There are many children,” Hollande said. “Young children who had come to watch fireworks with their family, to have joy, to share happiness, delight, amazement, and who were struck, struck to death, merely to satisfy the cruelty of an individual – and maybe of a group.”
Hollande said many of the injured victims he had met were physically and psychologically scarred by what they had seen during the attack, The New York Times reported.
“Many told me that they had no recollection of what might have caused their wounds,” he said. “However, they remember the bodies that were torn to shreds right in front of their eyes.”
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He praised the medical workers and emergency responders who helped the victims.
He also complimented French security forces, saying that they had “taken all necessary measures so that this fireworks show might be as protected as possible – as had been the case during the European Championship, by the way, here in Nice.”
“Why Nice? Because it is a city that is known worldwide, one of the most beautiful cities on the planet,” Hollande said. “Why the 14th of July? Because it is a celebration of liberty. And it is therefore to hit France that this individual committed this terrorist attack.”
Hollande warned that the fight against terrorism would be long, “because we have an enemy that will continue to strike all people, all countries that have liberties as essential values.”
“The whole world is watching us, once again,” Hollande said.
At least 84 Bastille Day revellers were killed in Nice when a terrorist ploughed his truck through the crowd.