Paris: Nearly 160 people have died and up to hundreds have been injured in an apparently coordinated series of gun and suicide bomb attacks in Paris.
Eight of the attackers are dead with 7 of them dead in suicide bombings. Islamic group, ISIS has claimed responsibility of the attacks.
France’s president, François Hollande, has declared a state of emergency and shut the country’s borders. A three-day mourning has been declared following the deadly attacks.
Multiple shootings rocked central Paris Friday night, one of which was at the Bataclan theatre and concert hall where gunmen took up to 100 people hostage and later killed them. The death toll is on the rise with about 80 people in serious condition.
Some 40 other people were killed in up to five other attacks in the Paris region, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the national stadium where President Hollande and the German Foreign Minister were watching a friendly soccer match.
“This is a horror,” the French President said in a midnight television address to the nation. He later went to the scene of the bloodiest attack, the Bataclan music hall, and vowed that the government would wage a “merciless” fight against terrorism.
All radio stations broadcast warnings to Parisians to stay at home and not venture out in the streets and also urged residents to help provide shelter to anyone caught out in the street.
Bataclan, a popular concert venue where the Californian rock group Eagles of Death Metal was performing, witnessed the deadliest attack. The concert hall is a few hundred metres from the former offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which was the target of a deadly attack by Islamist gunmen in January.
Some witnesses in the concert hall heard the gunmen shout Islamic slogans condemning France’s role in Syria. Ever since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a Kosher supermarket in Paris in January that killed 18 people, France has been on high alert.
“We know where these attacks come from,” Hollande said, without naming any individual group. “There are indeed good reasons to be afraid.” The French President has cancelled his plans to travel to Turkey for a G20 summit that is scheduled to take place this weekend. An emergency meeting of the President’s national security council has been called on Saturday.
The death toll so far:
Stade De France – 3 killed
Rue De Charonne – 18 killed
Boulevard Voltaire – 1 killed
Rue De La Fontaine Au Roi – 5 killed
Rue Alibert – 14 killed
Bataclan Concert Hall – 120 killed
Leaders from around the world have condemned the attacks.