Tags: Paris Attacks | War on Terrorism | EU | France | Paris Shootings

140 Killed in 'Unprecedented' Paris Terror Attacks

140 Killed in 'Unprecedented' Paris Terror Attacks

By    |   Friday, 13 November 2015 07:30 PM

Officials in Paris said as many as 140 people were killed Friday night in the deadliest attack on France since WWII.

President Francois Hollande pledged that France would stand firm against what he called terrorism.

The worst carnage occurred at a concert hall hosting an American rock band, where about 100 people were killed after being held hostage while their attackers hurled explosives at them. Police who stormed the building, killing three attackers, encountered a bloody scene of horror inside.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said as many as five attackers may have been killed, though it was not clear how many there were altogether and how many were still at large.

The coordinated attacks, which began after 9:15 p.m. local time, saw multiple explosions and shootings at seven sites across the city at restaurants, soccer stadium and a concert hall.

A total of 40 others were killed in other locations in and around Paris, a City Hall official said early Saturday.

A police official said 11 people were killed in a Paris restaurant in the 10th arrondissement and other officials said at least three people died when bombs went off outside a stadium.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, and no clear picture of how many attackers were involved and if any were on the run. Jihadists on Twitter immediately praised the attack and criticized France's military operations against Islamic State extremists.

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.

"This is a terrible ordeal that again assails us," he said. "We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are."

The attacks came as the country, a founder member of the U.S.-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference that opens later this month.

Western security sources said they suspected an Islamist militant group was behind the carnage.

At least two explosions were heard near the Stade de France national stadium where a France-Germany friendly soccer match was being played, attended by President Francois Hollande.

The match continued until the end but panic broke out in the crowd as rumours of the attack spread, and spectators were held in the stadium and assembled spontaneously on the pitch.

There were reports of possibly as many as four shootings in central Paris, one of which turned into a hostage taking at a popular rock music venue, witnessses said.

TF1 television said up to 35 people were dead near the soccer stadium, including two suspected suicide bombers in the attack in the neighborhood of Saint Denis, north of central Paris.

Police helicopters circled the stadium as Hollande was rushed back to the interior ministry to deal with the situation. The president's office said he had called an emergency cabinet meeting for midnight (2300 GMT) to manage the crisis.

Police confirmed there had been shootings and explosions at the stadium, but not the number of casualties.

In central Paris, shooting erupted in mid-evening outside a Cambodian restaurant i and the Bataclan music hall, where bystanders were evacuated as elite police commandos took up position.

Several witnesses told television stations that up to 60 hostages were being held inside the popular concert venue.

"There are lots of people here. I don't know what's happening, a sobbing witness who gave her name only as Anna told BFM TV outside the Bataclan hall. "It's horrible. There's a body over there. It's horrible."

Elsewhere, police cordoned off a wide area around the Petit Cambodge restaurant where witnesses said gunmen armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles had fired at diners through the plate-glass windows, causing multiple casualties.

"I was on my way to my sister's when I heard shots being fired. Then I saw three people dead on the ground, I know they were dead because they were being wrapped up in plastic bags," student Fabien Baron told Reuters.

There were also reports of shootings in rue de Charonne in the 11th district and at the central Les Halles shoping center.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Paris attacks, which came within days of attacks claimed by Islamic State militants on a Shi'ite Muslim district of southern Beirut in Lebanon, and a Russian tourist aircraft which crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Earlier on Friday, the United States and Britain said they had launched an attack in the Syrian town of Rakka on a British Islamic State militant known as "Jihadi John" but it was not certain whether he had been killed.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Police officials in Paris said more than 100 people were killedFriday night in the deadliest attack onFrance since WWII.
EU, France, Paris Shootings
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2015-30-13
Friday, 13 November 2015 07:30 PM
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