A terrorist gunman has killed 84 people and seriously injured dozens more after he used a 25-tonne lorry to go on a mile-long killing spree by mounting pavements at high speed and ploughing through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice last night.

The killer, a 31-year-old French Tunisian named by Nice Matin as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, then got out and sprayed fleeing revellers with bullets before being shot dead by police after his 30 minute rampage, which has left 54 children injured alone.

One eyewitness described seeing ‘bodies flying like bowling pins’ and others ‘jammed’ under the lorry’s wheels as the horror unfolded at around 10.30pm local time last night.

The truck driver, who was known to police, was said to have shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ – God is great in Arabic – before being killed in a clear suicide mission. Pro-ISIS groups have been celebrating the attack, orchestrated to coincide with France’s most important national holiday.

The gunman was known to police for crimes of theft and violence, but not intelligence services, a police source said. A suspected accomplice is on the run.

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