November 14, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Reuters"
- PARIS: Gunmen and suicide bombers attacked busy
restaurants, bars and a concert hall at locations around Paris
Friday, killing scores of people in what a shaken President
Francois Hollande described as an unprecedented terrorist
Police sources said at least 100
people were killed in a concert hall alone, with more than 40
killed in other attacks and at least another 60 wounded in the
French media reported varying unofficial death
The apparently coordinated gun and bomb
assault came as the country, a founding member of the U.S.-led
coalition waging airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, was
on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate
conference due to open later this month.
Hollande, who was attending an international
football match with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter
Steinmeier when several blats took place outside the national
stadium, declared a state of emergency in the Paris region and
announced the closure of France’s borders to stop perpetrators
“This is a horror,” the visibly shaken
president said in a midnight television address to the nation
before chairing an emergency cabinet meeting.
All emergency services were mobilized, police
leave was canceled and hospitals recalled staff to cope with the
Hollande said police were launching an assault
at one of the attack sites as he spoke.
A Reuters witness heard five explosions
outside the Bataclan music hall, where up to 60 people were
being held hostage.
A second Reuters reporter later said police
had completed an operation at the building. BMF TV said three
gunmen had been killed.
Earlier, witnesses said an elite anti-terror
unit had taken up positions outside the popular concert venue,
which was attacked by two or three gunmen, who were reported to
have shouted slogans condemning France’s role in Syria.
“We know where these attacks come from,”
Hollande said, without naming any individual group. “There are
indeed good reasons to be afraid.”
France has been on high alert ever since
Islamist gunmen attacked the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and
a Kosher supermarket in Paris in January, killing 18 people.
U.S. President Barack Obama and German
Chancellor Angela Merkel led a global chorus of solidarity with
France and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the
“despicable attacks” and demanded the release of the hostages.
Julien Pierce, a journalist from Europe 1
radio, was inside the concert hall when the shooting began. In
an eyewitness report posted on the station’s website, Pierce
said several very young individuals, who were not wearing masks,
entered the hall while the concert was under way armed with
Kalashnikov assault rifles and started “blindly shooting at the
crowd.” “There were bodies everywhere,” he said.
French media reported five more or less
simultaneous attacks in mid-evening in central Paris and outside
the Stade de France stadium in the suburb of Saint-Denis, north
of the city center.
There was no immediate verifiable claim of
responsibility but supporters of the ISIS militant group, which
controls swaths of Iraq and Syria said in Twitter messages that
the group carried them out.
“The State of the caliphate hit the house of
the cross,” one tweet said.
Three explosions were heard near the Stade de
France, where the France-Germany friendly football match was
A witness said one of the detonations blew
people into the air outside a McDonald’s restaurant outside the
The match continued until the end but panic
broke out in the crowd as rumors of the attack spread, and
spectators were held in the stadium and assembled spontaneously
on the pitch.
TF1 television said up to 35 people were dead
near the football stadium, including two suspected suicide
Police helicopters circled the stadium as
Hollande was rushed back to the interior ministry to deal with
In central Paris, shooting erupted in
mid-evening outside a Cambodian restaurant in the capital’s 10th
There were unconfirmed reports of other
shootings in Rue de Charonne in the 11th district and at the
central Les Halles shopping and cinema complex.
“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.
The attacks came within days of attacks
claimed by ISIS militants on a Shiite district of Beirut’s
southern suburbs, and a Russian tourist aircraft that crashed in
Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
Earlier Friday, the United States and Britain
said they had launched an attack in the Syrian town of Raqqa on
a British ISIS militant known as “Jihadi John” but it was not
certain whether he had been killed.