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SA witness of Nice attack: Nowhere is safe anymore

At least 84 people were killed during a Thursday night attack in the French city of NIce

FILE: Police officers, firefighters and rescue workers at the site of an attack on the Promenade des Anglais on July 15, 2016, after a truck drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - A Johannesburg man, who was just a few hundred metres away from the terror attack in Nice, says there is no place in the world that is safe at the moment.

Henri Meistre and his family were in the French city on Thursday night celebrating Bastille Day and watching the fireworks. They had moved from the promenade to a restaurant just minutes before the attacker ploughed a heavy truck into a crowd of people.

At least 84 people were killed and several others remain in a critical condition in the third terror attack in France in the past 18 months.

Meistre says they heard screams about an attack and fled to their hotel. They are en route to Johannesburg today.

"There's all sorts of stuff going on and the world is just a mess at the moment. You don't know what to do, where to go with family to try and keep safe."

Meanwhile, Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Thursday night attack. A truck driven by a 31-year old Tunisian driver zigzagged along the city's seafront Promenade des Anglais as a fireworks display marking the French national day ended.

It careered into families and friends listening to an orchestra or strolling above the Mediterranean beach towards the century-old grand Hotel Negresco.

At least 10 children were among the dead. Of the scores of injured, 25 were on life support, authorities said on Friday.

The driver, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was shot dead by officers at the scene. He was known to police for petty crimes but was not on a watch list of suspected militants.

Meanwhile, French police arrested three people in Nice early on Saturday in connection with the probe into the Bastille Day attack, police sources said.

The arrests concerned the attacker's "close entourage", the sources said, and were made in two different areas of Nice. A Reuters reporter saw about 40 elite police raid a small apartment at Rue Miollis, north of the central station, where one individual was arrested.