A major attack occurred late in the evening of 14 July in the French city of Nice on the Mediterranean coast. According to current information, a man drove a lorry into the crowd during a firework display celebrating the French national holiday. It is reported that he fired several gun shots before being shot and killed by police. At least 84 people have lost their lives and dozens more were injured.
After analysing the information available thus far, it cannot be ruled out that German nationals are amongst the victims. A team from the Consulate-General in Marseille is on its way to Nice to find out more and, if necessary, offer help and support to any Germans affected.
The Crisis Response Centre in Berlin, the Embassy in Paris and the Consulate-General in Marseille are in extremely close contact with the competent French authorities and are working hard to ascertain the facts. It is, however, to be expected that this process will take some time.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier voiced his distress at the attack:
A day dedicated to the joy and pride of the French nation has ended in tragedy, senselessly claiming many lives. People who were celebrating peacefully were killed or are now fighting for their lives. Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathy are with the victims, their relatives and all the people of France. We share in the country’s grief and stand resolutely at its side in this dark hour.
Federal President Joachim Gauck expressed his condolences to the President of the French Republic, François Hollande:
It was with horror that I learnt during my state visit to Uruguay of the brutal attack on people celebrating peacefully in Nice. The 14th of July, the day on which France celebrates its national holiday, focuses on the values of the French Revolution, values which are also our values. An attack on France is thus an attack on the entire free world. At this difficult time, my thoughts and my sympathy are with the victims, their families and with the entire nation.
Federal Chancellor Merkel spoke of an attack akin to mass murder in Nice. She assured France of Germany’s full solidarity. Germany stands at the side of France in the fight against terrorism, as she underscored on the fringes of the ASEM Summit in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. “And I am very confident that, despite all the difficulties, this is a battle we will win.”