At least 84 people are dead and dozens more injured after a truck loaded with weapons ploughed through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French resort city of Nice on Thursday. The 28-ton truck drove 1.1 miles down the famed seaside boulevard Promenade des Anglais at about 10:30 p.m. and while the driver opened fire with a pistol.

French media indentified the armed suspect as a Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Nice resident of Tunisian descent, after two police officers shot him dead inside the truck's cabin. Bouhlel, who had a lengthy criminal record, was not listed in a database of radicalized militant suspects, according to reports.

A witness told CNN that dead bodies were covered in blue tarps so emergency vehicles didn't run over them. Another witness, Eric Dratell, an American laywer who works in London, also spoke with CNN and said people were "diving off the promenade."

French President Francois Hollande, who described the attack as an act of terror, said that operational reserves had been called up to aid police and security forces.

"France was struck on the day of its national holiday, July 14, the symbol of liberty," said Hollande.

“France as a whole is under the threat of Islamic terrorism. We have to demonstrate absolute vigilance and show determination that is unfailing.”

nice attack1 French investigating police conduct a search for clues around a truck, the day after a heavy a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday. Photo: Reuters

nice attack2 Bodies are covered in table cloth in Nice after a truck crashed through a Bastille Day celebration. Photo: Reuters

This is the third major attack against on France since January 2015, when 11 people were killed and 11 were injured in a shooting  at the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo. In November, 130 were killed and 368 injured in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris.