Paris: Many Arabs and Muslims were also targeted in truck attack in the French city of Nice on Thursday evening, according to an Iranian journalist Maryam Violette who was present on the ground.
Maryam said she saw bodies on the ground with either the Muslim head covering hijab or some clothing of Arabic nature, according to Al Arabiya.
Many on the social media are taking her statements as evidence that the truck driver, a French citizen of Tunisian ancestry, was indiscriminate as he ploughed through the Bastille Day crowd near the French Riviera.
“There were so many Muslim people who were victims because I could see they had scarves over their head and some were speaking Arabic, one family lost a mother and in Arabic, they were saying she’s a martyr,” Violette, who works for the ZananTV, told the Guardian.
At least 84 peoples were killed and many others injured as a truck rammed into crowd in Nice, southern France, local TV channels reported early on Friday, citing the prosecutor of Nice.
At 22:30 Thursday night local time, a truck drove at high speed into the crowd who gathered on the promenade to watch fireworks marking July 14, the French national day, wrote Christian Estrosi, president of the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, on Twitter.
Few Arab sources Al Arabiya English spoke to in Nice over the phone described the absence of police and emergency personnel during the first 30 minutes of the attack. Syrian graduate student Zehni Khairullah told Al Arabiya English of the immense fear Arab tourists and students felt who were near the attack.
“What I experienced in Nice last night will never leave my memory. People running around and screaming while I was a kilometer away from the location of the attack,” Khairullah said.
“Walking back to the residence was not an as easy. Every car, motorcycle or person we saw, we stopped, counted to 10 in fear that this person might shoot us,” he recounted.
Khairullah, who was with a fellow Syrian and seven other Jordanian students, was attending a European Innovation Academy workshop on web development for the past week.
“We are being advised to stay indoors in the residence and not move out in the streets. Many are nervous and scared and waiting for more information,” he said.
Many Arabs, especially from the Arab Gulf countries, vacation in the French Riviera areas during the summer months.
Reporting from Nice, Al Arabiya reporter Nada al-Tuwaijri said that she, along with several Arab tourists, were 10 minutes away from the scene when the attack took place.