The truck that ran into a Bastille Day celebration Thursday night in Nice, France, appears to have been a well-planned, intentional attack, witnesses and security experts told NBC News.
One eyewitnesses recounted seeing people being mowed down by the truck. Another told NBC News the incident “certainly was no accident.”
NBC News terrorism and security analyst Malcolm Nance said he believed the driver “wanted a very high body count” and that “they wanted it done in a spectacular fashion.”
Vehicles are barred from the promenade on holidays, which means the driver would have had to negotiate roadblocks to reach the area, Nance said.
The incident started as thousands of people were leaving the beach about 20 minutes after a large fireworks display to celebrate the country’s national holiday.