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Key condemns Nice attack

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/07/2016
Prime Minister John Key © Getty Images Prime Minister John Key

Prime Minister John Key has joined world leaders in condemning the attack on innocent people celebrating France's national day.

A gunman at the wheel of a heavy truck ploughed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing at least 84 people and injuring scores more in what President Francois Hollande called a terrorist act.

The attacker, identified by a police source as a 31-year-old Tunisian-born Frenchman, also opened fire before police shot him dead. He was known to police for common crimes but not to intelligence services.

Mr Key, his wife Bronagh and children Stephanie and Max were attending Bastille Day celebrations in Paris.

Mr Key said he had conveyed his condolences to the president and prime minister of France following the attack and reiterated his position at earlier talks that New Zealand stood shoulder-to-shoulder with France in combating violent extremism.

"The fact this attack was directed at innocent people celebrating their national day makes it particularly horrific," he says.

French police secure the area as the investigation continues at the scene in Nice. © Reuters French police secure the area as the investigation continues at the scene in Nice.

The New Zealand Embassy in Paris is continuing to work to establish if any Kiwis have been caught up in the attack.

At 5pm on Friday (NZT) an official said there was no new information.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) said it had reviewed its travel advice for France, saying there was a heightened threat of terrorism there after the attack.

New Zealanders in France are advised to exercise heightened vigilance, monitor the media for updates and follow instructions issued by the local authorities, including any restrictions on movement, as security operations are ongoing.

There are no changes to the travel advisory risk level, with caution advised.

Any New Zealanders in France who are not registered on the SafeTravel website are being strongly urged to do so.

There are 882 Kiwis registered with the ministry as being in France.

Three Australians have been injured, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.

"They have suffered minor injuries, seeking to flee the scene," she told reporters in Perth on Friday.

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