About 160 killed in Paris gunfire, explosions

About 160 people have been killed and over 200 others injured in the French capital Paris in the deadliest attacks to hit the country since the Second World War.

According to French media on Friday night, nearly 120 people, who had been held hostage by gunmen at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, were killed. Witnesses say the terrorists were shooting for 10 to 15 minutes. Officials said eights of the attackers were killed, including three of them who blew themselves up. About 40 other people were reportedly killed in other attacks across Paris.

French riot police secure the area near the Bataclan arts center in Paris, November 13, 2015. (Reuters)

In another Friday attack, at least 11 people were killed by gunmen outside a bar called Le Carillon in Paris.

The assailants also opened fire at the Petit Cambodge restaurant in the city’s 10th district, killing four people.

According to the French Liberation daily, at least 100 rounds were also fired atLa Belle Equipe cafe in the 11th district.

The scene of a shooting at the Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris, November 13, 2015 (Twitter)

Police and rescuers work at the scene of an attack in the 10th district of the French capital Paris, November 13, 2015. (AFP)

Blasts near national stadium

Three explosions near Stade de France, the country’s national stadium just north of Paris, left several people dead and injured.

At the time of the explosions, French President Francois Hollande was present at the stadium, where France were hosting Germany, but he was evacuated to safety before holding crisis talks with Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve at the Interior Ministry building.

Rescue service personnel are working near the covered bodies following a shooting incident at the Cambodge restaurant in Paris, November 13, 2015. (Reuters)

 

Spectators gather on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany, after a series of attacks took place across Paris, November 13, 2015. (AFP)

The explosions near the stadium could be heard inside during the match as they happened in the first half, but the match was not stopped. France beat Germany 2-0 in a game overshadowed by the terrifying violence.

Reports said another shooting and bombing attack took place at Les Halles, a shopping center in central Paris.

Government officials and police in Paris advised residents to stay indoors.

Crowds leave the Stade de France stadium in Paris, following the friendly soccer match between France and Germany, after a series of attacks took place across Paris, November 13, 2015. (Reuters)

French police said at least four attackers — three of whom wearing explosive belts — were killed, warning that some other assailants “may still be on the loose.”

State of emergency

In a brief televised statement, Hollande said two major decisions had been made and a cabinet meeting had been called.

Pointing to the first decision, he said, “A state of emergency will be declared,” adding, “The second measure will be the closure of national borders.”

“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 noted.

French President Francois Hollande (C), flanked by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (Rear L) and French Prime Minister manuel Valls (R) addresses reporters near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. (AFP)

Hollande has also cancelled his planned visit to the G20 summit in Turkey, due on November 15 and 16, following the Paris attacks.

Large numbers of Parisians held candlelight vigils across the city in the early hours of Saturday morning in memory of the victims of the deadly Friday attacks.

Global condemnation

A large number of political figures and international bodies across the globe denounced the fatal Paris attacks.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the “despicable terrorist attacks” raids, and the 15-member United Nations Security Council also denounced the “barbaric and cowardly terrorist attacks.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences and support to his counterpart Francois Hollande and the people of France.

At a press conference at the White House, US President Barack Obama said his administration is ready to “provide whatever assistance that the government and the people of France need,” and pledged to “bring these terrorists to justice and go after any terrorist networks” involved. He also described the series of deadly incidents across Paris as an “attack on all of humanity”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she is “deeply shaken by the news and pictures that are reaching us from Paris.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “shocked” by the attacks in Paris, vowing to assist the neighboring country.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote on his Twitter page that he was “deeply shocked by the events in Paris,” expressing “full solidarity with the people of France.”

By Press TV