France has declared a national state of emergency and tightened borders after at least 127 people were killed in a night of gun and suicide attacks in Paris claimed by ISIS.
Eighty people were reported killed after gunmen burst into the Bataclan concert hall and took hostages before security forces stormed the hall.
People were shot dead at restaurants and bars at five other sites in Paris. At least 180 people were injured.
These are the deadliest attacks in Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings.
French President Francois Hollande, called yesterday night’s almost simultaneous attacks “a horror” and vowed to wage a “merciless” fight against terrorism.
The attack on the 1,500-seat Bataclan hall was the deadliest of Friday night’s attacks. Gunmen opened fire on concert-goers watching a heavy metal band.
“At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood,” Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter, told Agence France Presse.
Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!
“They didn’t stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee.”
He said the gunmen took 20 hostages, and he heard one of them tell their captives: “It’s the fault of Hollande, it’s the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria”.
Within an hour, security forces had stormed the concert hall and all four attackers there were dead. Three had blown themselves up and a fourth was shot dead by police.
- La Belle Equipe, 92 rue de Charonne, 11th district – at least 19 dead in gun attacks;
- Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant at rue Alibert, 10th district – at least 12 dead in gun attacks;
- La Casa Nostra restaurant, 92 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th district – at least 5 dead in gun attacks;
- Stade de France, St Denis, just north of Paris – explosions heard outside venue, three attackers dead;
- Bataclan concert venue, 50 boulevard Voltaire, 11th district – stormed by several gunmen, at least 80 dead;
Meanwhile, not far from the Place de la Republique and the Place de la Bastille, three busy restaurants and a bar were targeted by gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs.
Around 40 people were killed as customers were singled out at venues including a pizza restaurant and a Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge.
The other target was the Stade de France, on the north of Paris, where President Hollande and 80,000 spectators were watching a friendly international between France and Germany, with a TV audience of millions more.
The president was whisked to safety after the first of at least two explosions just outside the venue to convene an emergency cabinet meeting. Three attackers were reportedly killed there.
President Hollande went on national TV to announce a state of emergency for the first time in France since 2005. The decree enables the authorities to close public places and impose curfews and restrictions on the movement of traffic and people.
Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city.
All schools, museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools and markets will be shut on Saturday, as well as Disneyland Paris. All sporting fixtures in the affected area of Paris have also been cancelled, AFP reports.
Police believe all of the gunmen are dead – seven killed themselves with explosives vests and one was shot dead by the security forces – but it is unclear if any accomplices are still on the run.
US President Barack Obama spoke of “an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians”.
UK PM David Cameron said he was shocked and pledged to do “whatever we can to help”.