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Nice Attack: world politicians use Twitter to condemn Bastille Day attack
In the late hours of 14 July 2016, during France’s Bastille Day celebrations, a gunman drove a truck through a crowd of people in Nice, southern France, killing at least 84 people. It’s France’s second major terror attack in less than a year, after last November’s attacks in Paris.
According to reports, the driver of the truck ploughed through the crowd for at least two kilometres before police shot the attacker dead.
After the incident, #PrayForNice and #NiceAttack became Twitter’s top trends worldwide, with #NousSommesUnis (“we are united”) taking off in France in the past hour.
But while Twitter users across the world are condemning the attacks and tweeting messages of support to the victims, world leaders have also taken to the social network to voice their opinions, issue their statements and sympathise with the affected.
France’s politicians led world leaders in tweets. Nice’s current Mayor Phillipe Pradal’s Twitter timeline transformed into an emergency news desk. His tweet below was published about two hours after the attack. He later tweeted that this is the “biggest tragedy in the history of Nice”, and issued his condolences to the families affected.
Ce soir à 22h30 un camion fou a foncé à vive allure sur la foule rassemblée sur la Promenade pour regarder le feu d’artifice du 14 juillet.
— Philippe Pradal (@p_pradal) July 14, 2016
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Twitter timeline of Bastille Day joy turned to “deep emotion and infinite sadness at the attack”.
Emotion profonde et tristesse infinie face à l’attaque à #Nice06. Solidarité à l’égard des #Niçois et des habitants des Alpes-Maritimes.
— Nicolas Sarkozy (@NicolasSarkozy) July 14, 2016
Current president of France Francois Hollande tweeted that “France is weeping, grieved, but it is strong and will always be”, More of Hollande’s and the French’s heads of state remarks can be found on the Élysée’s official Twitter account.
La France est éplorée, affligée, mais elle est forte et le sera toujours plus que les fanatiques qui veulent aujourd’hui la frapper. #Nice
— François Hollande (@fhollande) July 15, 2016
Paris’s Mayor Anne Hidalgo also issued a statement of solidarity. “On behalf of the Parisians, all our most fraternal support to the people of Nice. Our cities are united,” her tweet reads.
Au nom des Parisiens, tout notre soutien le plus fraternel au peuple niçois. Nos villes sont unies.
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) July 14, 2016
The former Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi asked Niçois citizens to stay at home after the attacks. “More info will come,” he added.
Cher niçois, le chauffeur d’un camion semble avoir fait des dizaines de morts. Restez pour le moment à votre domicile. Plus d’infos à venir
— Christian Estrosi (@cestrosi) July 14, 2016
Russia’s prime minister Dimitri Medvedev first took to Facebook to issue his “deepest condolences to France, those who suffered in this heinous act of terror”. He also tweeted: “Europe and Asia must unite against terrorism.”
Europe and Asia must unite against terrorism. Terrorists and their sponsors only understand the language of force, and we must use it
— Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussiaE) July 15, 2016
US Democratic Party presumptive nominee Hilary Clinton stepped off the campaign trail for a moment, issuing an embedded statement. “Every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France,” it reads.
“Every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France” —Hillary on the attack in Nice pic.twitter.com/BBGgHucSE0
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 15, 2016
Republican Party presumptive nominee Donald Trump also issued a number of tweets condemning the attack, suggesting that “it is only getting worse”. He also announced that in light of the attack, he has “postponed” his vice Presidential candidate announcement.
Another horrific attack, this time in Nice, France. Many dead and injured. When will we learn? It is only getting worse.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2016
The UK’s newly-appointed secretary of foreign affairs Boris Johnson also issued a statement, describing the attack as a “terrible loss of life”.
Shocked and saddened by the appalling events in Nice, and the terrible loss of life.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 15, 2016
Former first lady of Mexico Margarita Zavala also tweeted: “I regret and condemn acts of hatred, violence and terrorism. My solidarity with the French people.” Her husband, former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon, retweeted her message.
Lamento y condeno los actos de odio, violencia y terrorismo. Mi solidaridad con el pueblo francés.
— Margarita Zavala (@Mzavalagc) July 14, 2016
London’s current Mayor Sadiq Khan was “devastated by this unspeakable attack on Nice”, he tweeted, pledging London’s solidarity with the victims.
Devastated by this unspeakable attack on #Nice. London is united with you in our grief, and in our determination to defeat terrorism.
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) July 15, 2016
Spain’s acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey, at a press conference, observed a minute’s silence earlier today. He also tweeted: “Shocked by the news coming from Nice and I’m still concerned. My condolences for the victims to all the French people.”
Conmocionado por las noticias que nos llegan desde Niza y que sigo con preocupación. Mi pésame por las víctimas a todo el pueblo francés. MR
— Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) July 14, 2016
Latvian politician (and current EU commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue) Valdis Dombrovskis was “upset” by the attack on Nice. “My thoughts relatives of the victims. Solidarity with the French people,” he added, alongside the picture of the French flag.
Bouleversé par #AttaqueNice #Nice06. Mes pensées aux proches des victimes. Solidarité avec le peuple français. pic.twitter.com/cki7GIqkYQ
— Valdis Dombrovskis (@VDombrovskis) July 15, 2016
Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen called the attack on Nice “an attack on us all”.
#AttentatNice is an attack on us all. An attack on democracy & human rights. Denmark is with France and the victims’ families in the sorrow
— Lars Løkke Rasmussen (@larsloekke) July 15, 2016
The White House also issued a statement by President Barack Obama on Twitter. “I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be an horrific terror attack in Nice, France,” reads a snippet of the release. Obama however did not tweet using his POTUS or official personal accounts.
.@POTUS on the attack in Nice, France: pic.twitter.com/CrbChxZs04
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 14, 2016
Canadian President Stephen Harper issued a statement in French: “The people of France are in our thoughts this evening, following the terrorist attack. I pray for the victims and their families.”
Le peuple de France est dans nos pensées ce soir, suite à cette attaque terroriste. Je prie pour les victimes ainsi que leurs familles.
— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) July 15, 2016