News ID: 18446
Publish Date: 14 November 2015 - 09:43
LHVnews_The French capital was rocked Friday night by a series of coordinated terrorist attacks perpetrated by suicide bombers and gunmen armed with Kalashnikov automatic rifles; French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and closed the country's borders as the death toll continued to rise.

Assailants struck at least six different venues, ranging from the national sports stadium to a pizzeria, late on Friday.

There are conflicting reports on the number of the people killed and injured in the attacks. Some reports say as many as 153 people have been killed. The death toll that has been officially confirmed by French authorities but not upgraded for almost a couple of hours stands at 120.

According to some reports, a gunman killed at least 11 people at the Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 10th arrondissement. On the Boulevard de Charonne in the 11th district, 18 others were killed, with one witness saying a Japanese restaurant was the main target.

Three bombings near the Stade de France stadium, one hitting the entrance to the venue, also killed at least five people.

A few hundred meters from the Bataclan concert hall, the terrace of the Casa Nostra pizzeria was targeted. Five people were killed by attackers wielding automatic rifles, according to a witness.

Concert bloodbath

Following the sporadic attacks, nearly 87 people, who had been held hostage by gunmen at the concert hall in central Paris were killed. Witnesses say the terrorists were shooting for 10 to 15 minutes. Officials said eight of the attackers were killed, including three of them who blew themselves up.

A total of eight assailants were also killed in the attacks, most of them by detonating their explosive belts.

ISIS claims responsibility

The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks in and around the French capital.

The coordinated assaults came as France, a founding member of the US-led coalition conducting airstrikes against purported Daesh positions in Syria and Iraq, was already on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference due to open later this month.

Emergency declared, borders closed

French President Francois Hollande has, meanwhile, declared a state of emergency in a bid to contain the security situation in the country.

    "As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is a horror.”

He also said France’s borders have been ordered shut following the attacks.

"We must ensure that no one comes in to commit any act whatsoever, and at the same time make sure that those who have committed these crimes should be arrested if they try to leave the country,” the French president said in a brief televised statement.

Meanwhile, condemnations and expressions of sympathy are pouring in for the French government and people.

The United States, Britain, Germany, Spain, India, Australia, and Turkey, as well as the European Union (EU) have voiced their condemnation of the attacks.

The United Nations (UN)’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also condemned the attacks.

A number of countries, including China, have also said they are ready to work with France to combat terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, whose preachers officially preach Wahhabism, an extremely intolerant and violent ideology, has also said the Paris attacks show it is necessary to eradicate "threats to global security” through joint international efforts.

In the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, 15 assailants out of the total 19 were Saudi nationals.

Paris in the crosshairs

The French capital had been targeted in another series of terrorist attacks as recently as January 7, when gunmen attacked the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and wounding 11 others.

The incident was followed by a series of sieges and shootings across Paris, resulting in the killing of more people and an extensive sense of insecurity in the country.

In a posthumous video released a few days later, Amedy Coulibaly, a gunman who killed four hostages in another terror attack at a Paris supermarket before he was slain by police, claimed he was acting on behalf of the Daesh Takfiri group in coordination with the two brothers who attacked Charlie Hebdo offices. He said the two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, were affiliated with the al-Qaeda terrorist group.
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