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2 French Jewish sisters badly hurt in Nice terror attack

Clara Bensimon, 80, and Raymonde Mamane, 77, at local hospital in serious condition; 2 US citizens confirmed dead

A forensic expert evacuates a dead body on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in the French Riviera city of Nice on July 15, 2016, after a gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people. (AFP Photo/Boris Horvat)
A forensic expert evacuates a dead body on the Promenade des Anglais seafront in the French Riviera city of Nice on July 15, 2016, after a gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people. (AFP Photo/Boris Horvat)

Two Jewish women were badly injured in Nice, France, when attending the Bastille Day event Thursday night during which an armed truck driver plowed into the crowds, killing 84 people.

Clara Bensimon, 80, and her sister Raymonde Mamane, 77, were located in a local hospital on Friday afternoon, where they are both on respirators in critical condition, the Ynet news website reported.

A friend of the two, who was apparently with them during the rampage, was also in hospital in serious condition.

At least five of the people wounded in the attack are Jews, according to Yossef Yitschok Pinson, the rabbi of Nice’s Chabad House.

A woman signs the book of condolences in front of the French embassy in Rome on July 15, 2016, after the deadly attacks in Nice. (AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI)
A woman signs the book of condolences in front of the French embassy in Rome on July 15, 2016, after the deadly attacks in Nice. (AFP Photo/Tiziana Fabi)

The US State Department spokesman said Friday that two American citizens were killed in the truck attack.

“At this time, we are aware of and can confirm two US citizens were killed in the attack in Nice on July 14, 2016,” spokesman John Kirby said.

“We express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of those killed.”

Kirby did not identify the two dead but added the United States was providing “all possible consular assistance” to its citizens.

A Texas-based newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman, reported that 51-year-old Sean Copeland and his 11-year-old son Brodie were among those killed in Nice, citing their friends and relatives.

A gunman drove a 19-ton truck into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day on Thursday night in the French Riviera city of Nice in what authorities have called a terror attack.

Kirby’s announcement came after US President Barack Obama strongly condemned what he said was a “horrific terrorist attack” and said the United States stood “in solidarity and partnership with France.”

“Our embassy in Paris is making every effort to account for the welfare of US citizens in Nice,” Kirby said. “Any US citizens in Nice should contact friends and family directly to inform‎ them of their well-being.”

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