At Least 120 People Killed in Paris Attacks, Hostage Crisis
Paris prosecutors are reporting that as many as 120 people were killed on Friday night following multiple explosions and shootings. It’s the deadliest attack on France since WWII.
Three terrorists and two kamikazes were killed by police in the attack, according to news channel BFMTV.
The coordinated assaults, which began after 9:15 p.m. local time, saw multiple explosions and shootings at six sites across the city at restaurants, soccer stadium and a concert hall.
At least 70 hostages were killed at the Bataclan theater, where the California-based Eagles of Death Metal band were performing a sold-out concert. Gunfire could be heard from inside the theater late Friday. The hostage situation ended around 1 a.m. with three terrorists getting shot down by special forces.
The attacks took place in some of Paris’s liveliest, hippest neighborhoods in the 10th and 11th districts on a warm and busy Friday evening. One of the main site of the assault, the Bataclan is located about two hundred meters from Charlie Hebdo’s newsroom which was attacked by terrorists on Jan. 7 and killed 12 people. In the 10th district, a man armed with a kalashnikov stormed a restaurant and shot randomly at clients, according to BFMTV.
French terror analysts have noted the singularity of the attack in terms of its massive scope, as well as the presence of Kamikazes in Paris and the fact that they targeted random French people.
France president Francois Hollande, appearing visibly shocked during a live press conference, called it an "unprecedented terrorist attack … a horror." He also launched a State of Emergency and urged that France’s borders be shut down. He said France would wage a "merciless battle against terrorists. (…) They will be punished."
Hollande had been evacuated earlier Friday night from Stade de France, the country’s national stadium, after three explosions rocked the football arena during a friendly match between France and Germany. The stadium reportedly has been put on lockdown and is being evacuated in sections.
Although the suspects have not yet been identified, witnesses inside the Bataclan reported that the shooters screamed "This is for Syria, this is for Syria" before gunning down patrons.
The locations of the November 13th Paris terrorists attacks with the Gare du Norde in the center for reference.
Local channel France 24 reports that at least six shootouts were perpetrated by gunmen across Paris.
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President Barack Obama also condemned the attacks, which he called "heartbreaking," in a nationally television address from the White House.
"This isn’t just an attack on France. … It’s an attack on all of humanity," he said.
France’s Canal Plus reported that the attack outside of the Stade de France was executed by two suicide bombers and that the bombs were crudely built with nails.
Paris officials have told local citizens to stay indoors as the city remains on high alert.