World | Europe

November 14, 2015

Paris Terror Attacks: Eight Attackers Dead After Killing at Least 120 People

A series of terror attacks rocked Paris on Friday, turning popular restaurants, a soccer stadium and a concert hall into scenes of carnage. As many as eight attackers were killed, seven of them in suicide bombings, the Paris prosecutor's office told reporters.
  • More than 100 people were killed in a series of attacks in Paris.
  • Attackers held dozens of hostages in a concert hall. Police raided the theater, and all the attackers there are dead.
  • French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and said the country would tighten border controls as it searches for accomplices.

French President Francios Hollande declared a state of emergency and said the country would increase border controls. More than 100 people were killed in attacks on at least five locations.

The worst violence appeared to have occurred at the city's Bataclan theater, where assailants took hostages during a performance by the U.S. rock group Eagles of Death Metal. The Associated Press reported attackers threw explosives at people they trapped in the theater. All the assailants were reported dead after police raided the building. Some blew themselves up with suicide belts as police approached, according to AP.

One man who spoke with The Guardian after making it out of the Bataclan said it was "carnage" and there were blood and "bodies everywhere." About 60 people escaped the theater, some pulled onto the rooftop, others into nearby apartments, according to the BBC. Band members safely fled the theater.

Another attack occurred at a restaurant and bar in the city's 10th District, leaving 11 people dead, the AP reported.

"I was going out to run an errand late Friday night and then I saw the horror, bodies without life on the curb, and people who were throwing sheets down from their windows so that we could cover the bodies," one Parisian told French newspaper Le Figaro. "It’s a war zone at my doorstep."

Multiple explosions occurred near Paris’ Stade de France during a soccer match between France and Germany, which Hollande was attending. Spectators spilled onto the field after the blasts, and Hollande was evacuated safely. At least one of the blasts there was a suicide bomber, French media reported.

 

Speaking at around 2 a.m. local time from the Bataclan after police secured it, Hollande pledged "ruthless" combat and said, "France needs to be unified, even if today it is in mourning in the wake of this tragedy that is an abomination and barbaric."

French authorities said 1,500 additional soldiers were deployed to the capital, but French airports remained open.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The Paris prosecutor's office said it couldn't rule out the possibility that some attackers remained at large, according to AP.

Parisians offering safety amid the turmoil used the social media hashtag #PorteOuverte, or open door, to invite strangers to shelter in their homes, according to Time.

The violence unfolded as city remained on edge from a horrific attack in January on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. That assault left 10 journalists dead, and the two brothers behind it, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were killed by police after taking hostages two days later. The al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen subsequently claimed responsibility. The Bataclan theater is located near where the Charlie Hebdo attack occurred.

The city asked residents on Friday night to stay home, and police said several metro lines were closed. People around the world expressed shock at images circulating in the wake of the attacks, including photos of dead bodies and chaotic street scenes.

"Once again we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians," President Barack Obama said in a televised address. "This is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share. We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance the government and French people need."

Obama called Hollande to express his condolences later in the evening, and to offer U.S. support in investigating the attacks.

No Americans were known to have been killed. At least 70 U.S. citizens known to be in France were unaccounted for, American officials told AP.

 

Text by The Huffington Post
 

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