The Primate of All Ireland and the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales have called for prayers for those killed and injured in last night’s terrorist attack in Nice, France.
“The horrific scenes on the streets of Nice once more send shock waves into our homes and hearts,” said the Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin. “How helpless we all are when someone decides to deliberately and indiscriminately target human life.
“Please keep the people of France in your prayers and especially the dead and injured, the families and loved ones of all those caught up in this senseless and brutal act. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the first responders and with members of the French community living here in Ireland.
“I invite everyone to undertake an act of kindness or compassion this weekend, perhaps in some small way to counterbalance with love this awful crime.
“Lord, make us all channels of your peace; Where there is hatred, may we bring your love. Amen.”
Meanwhile the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales tweeted: ‘Thoughts and prayers for the victims and all affected by the terrible lorry attack in Nice #PrayForNice #NiceAttack’.
At least 84 people, including several children died after a terrorist drove a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice.
Eyewitnesses said the killer swerved from side to side to kill as many people as possible as he drove for hundreds of metres along the Promenade des Anglais on the seafront of the city in the south of France.
At first horrified onlookers assumed the driver had lost control but one witness said he then produced a gun before being shot by police.
As sun rose on Friday morning, the lorry could still be seen where it finally came to a halt, its windscreen peppered with bullet holes.
As French President Francois Hollande said the country’s state of emergency would be extended for another three months, French media reported that the killer was known to police but for petty crime, not terrorism.
Mr Hollande led a wave of condemnation from world leaders. “France has been hit by a tragedy once again. This monstrosity of using a lorry to deliberately kill people, many people, who only came out to celebrate their national day,” he said.
“France is in tears. It is hurting but it is strong, and she will be strong, always stronger than the fanatics who wish to hurt us.”
He also said a military operation was in place which would allow the mobilisation of 10,000 troops and that police from across the country would be called to assist their colleagues in Nice.
The country’s borders were being tightened, said Mr Hollande, as he vowed that France would show “real force and military action in Syria and Iraq”.
Picture: A Police car is parked near the scene of an attack after a truck drove on to the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who’d gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France. (AP Photo/Christian Alminana).