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Saturday, November 14, 2015

France: Multiple terrorist attacks in Paris left scores dead, ISIS claims responsibility

Evacuation of people during the Paris attacks
(Image: Metro UK)
French capital Paris was hit by a wave of coordinated terrorist attacks on Friday, 13 November, leaving at least 132 people dead. This attack is the deadliest terrorist attack in Europe since 2004 train bombings in Madrid.

The attacks happened almost simultaneously at six different locations in the French capital and were well planned and coordinated. A massive explosion went off at the stadium Stade de France in the Northern part of Paris, where the friendly France-Germany football play was happening at the moment. French President Francois Hollande and many French and German officials were present at the game. A suicide bomber reportedly blew himself off at one of the gates of the Stadium. The number of people killed at this attack is still not mentioned by the French police. French President was immediately evacuated from the Stadium and headed for the emergency meeting with his Cabinet in order to deal with this situation. People were safely evacuated from the stadium a couple of hours later.

Shooting attacks and bombings happened also in Paris central districts, popular among the tourists and young people. Concert Hall Bataclan Theatre where a concert of a US band was happening was taken by the terrorists, with the hostages held inside. The terrorists were killing the hostages inside of the concert hall one by one, according to the records of the survivors. French police and security forces have stormed the concert hall in early morning hours of Saturday, 14 November. Several explosions were heard inside of the theatre, as the terrorists inside were either killed by the police or went off their explosives belts. Police reports 87 people were killed during the Bataclan Theatre attack.

Police and security forces during the anti-terrorist operation
in Paris
(Image: BBC)
A series of shootings happened also in several cafes and restaurants located in the popular and crowded areas close to the Bataclan Theatre and also near the offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo that was attacked in winter this year.

The attacks happened on Boulevard de Charonne, where at least 18 people were reported to be killed, on Boulevard Voltaire with one person killed, on Rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi, where five people were killed, and on Rue Alibert with 14 people killed. French police reported that a total number of victims of the night attacks is 132 people, while at more than 2500 people were wounded, including at least 90 people with serious injuries. Media reported earlier that at least 158 people were killed, but the official numbers are lower.

All the eight attackers were reported to be killed. 

French President Francois Hollande declared state of emergency in the country due to the terrorist threat and the Paris attacks and ordered deploying of military vehicles and personnel to the streets of Paris and other French cities as well. Nearly 1500 military personnel were deployed to Paris on Saturday. France also closed its borders.

Police and security forces after the attacks in Paris
(Image: BBC)
French President declared three days of mourning and cancelled several official visits and trips including his G20 visit to Turkey.

Later on Saturday Francois Hollande made a statement accusing ISIS of perpetrating the attacks in Paris. ISIS in its turn published a statement in their social networks' accounts and their media claiming responsibility for the multiple terrorist attacks in Paris. ISIS claimed these attacks were carried out in retaliation for the French participation in the military operation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

French President Francois Hollande stated that France will defend itself in this war with ISIS and vows to strike back Islamic State.

Leaders of the international powers including USA, European, Asian and Arab countries strongly condemned the attacks and stated that they should be united in the battle against the terrorist threat in the world.