Hartlepool Council flag at half mast in tribute to French terrorist attack victims

Hartlepool's Civic Centre flag has been lowered to half mast in support of those killed in a terrorist attack in France.

Friday, 15th July 2016, 10:53 am
Updated Friday, 15th July 2016, 3:14 pm
The Union Jack flag flies at half mast at Hartlepool Civic Centre in tribute to the victims of the Nice terrorist attack.

More than 80 people, including several children, are dead after a suspected terror attack on Bastille Day celebrations in Nice.

A lorry hit crowds who had gathered to celebrate the French national day in the Mediterranean city on Thursday night.

The lorry, its windscreen riddled with bullet holes, is guarded by police (AP)

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, an important event in Paris in the French Revolution, which had begun two days earlier, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on the same day in 1790.

Town MP Iain Wright spoke of his disgust at the attack.

“It is absolutely appalling,” said Mr Wright.

“I think everybody will be shocked and distressed about this, another terrorist atrocity.

The lorry, its windscreen riddled with bullet holes, is guarded by police (AP)

“To have people celebrating Bastille Day and then this happens is horrendous.

“I think we will all be standing with the French people today.

“To see kids being mown down while celebrating with their families is heart-wrenching - I think that will be the feeling of everyone about this crime today.”

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “Our thoughts are with the victims of the Nice attack and with all those in mourning for their loved ones.

“It is awful to see that dozens of people have again been affected by a deadly attack, particularly as this was on a day of national celebration in France.”

French president Francois Hollande led a wave of tributes from world leaders saying: “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.

“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 that a military operation was in place that would allow the mobilisation of 10,000 military officers and that police from across the country would be called to assist their colleagues in Nice

The country borders will be tightened and would show “real force and military action in Syria and Iraq”, Mr Hollande said.

Regional hospitals have been warned to expect an influx of the injured and the president urged citizens to be aware of security over the busy national holiday weekend.