PARIS (TIP): Terrorists, in the form of masked suicide bombers and gunmen, November 13 evening, launched a series of terror attacks in and around Central Paris which left over 160 people dead across six sites, including at least eight attackers with unknown motivations. Death toll reports varied in the confusion of the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
This was on a night when thousands of Paris residents and tourists were reveling and fans were enjoying a soccer match at Stade de France between France and world champion Germany before being ripped by coordinated attacks, leaving a nation in mourning and the world in shock.
After the attacks, President Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country’s borders. Hollande, who had to be evacuated from the stadium when the bombs went off outside, said in a televised address that the nation would stand firm and united.
An estimated 100 people were killed inside Le Bataclan, a concert hall in the 11th arrondissement, after a trio of terrorists armed with AK-47’s detonated explosive vests during a show by the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal. The suicide bombing followed a hostage standoff between the attackers and French police stationed outside the venue, with the madmen executing hostages one by one inside.
One eyewitness inside the Bataclan told the New York Times that one of the gunmen blamed the French president, yelling in French, “This is because of all the harm done by Hollande to Muslims all over the world.”
The Paris prosecutor Francois Molins’ office said that eight attackers were dead after a string of attacks around the French capital, seven of them in suicide bombings. The eighth attacker was killed by security forces when they raided the Bataclan.
Barrack Obama called Hollande to offer the condolences of the American people, the White House said.
“The President reiterated the United States’ steadfast, unwavering support for the people of France, our oldest ally and friend, and reaffirmed the offer of any necessary support to the French investigation,” the White House said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron who was hosting Indian PM Modi, said in a message on Twitter: “I am shocked by the events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris that has killed at least 160 people, saying that the “news from Paris is anguishing and dreadful”.
“News from Paris is anguishing & dreadful. Prayers with families of the deceased. We are united with people of France in this tragic hour,” Modi tweeted soon after the attacks.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Hollande and the people of France. “Russia strongly condemns this inhumane killing and is ready to provide any and all assistance to investigate these terrorist crimes,” he said.
France has been on edge since Islamic extremists attacked the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery store early this year. Twenty people, including three attackers, were left dead in the slaughter.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to some media reports & eye witness accounts.
A witness told BFM television that he heard rounds of automatic rifle fire and someone shouting
“it’s for Syria” and “Allahu Akbar” – the Arabic for “God is great” – before slaughtering around 100 music fans at a concert hall.
The attacks came just hours after British ISIS butcher Jihadi John was said to have been killed by a US drone strike in Syria.