A series of attacks in Paris dealt France its deadliest blow in decades, prompting its president to declare a state of emergency and close its borders.
French officials say more than 150 people were killed in a series of coordinated shootings and bombings across the French capital on Friday night. At least 100 people were killed in one attack on the Paris Bataclan concert hall, where gunmen were holding an unknown number of hostages. French police stormed the hall, killing the four Bataclan attackers, authorities said.
French President Francois Hollande put the country under a state of emergency, closing its borders and mobilizing at least 1,500 troops across the country. “As I speak,” he told his nation in a televised address, “terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region.” It was one of the deadliest attacks in a Western nation since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror strikes on America.
Shortly after the police raid on the Bataclan concert hall, Hollande traveled to the site and said France will fight the attackers “without mercy.”
“We will lead the fight,” he said. “It will be ruthless.”
By early Saturday, police announced that all the Bataclan attackers had been killed.
There have been at least five attacks across the city. Here is a map of the locations of the attacks:
So far, no individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Backers of ISIS and other extremist groups took to social media to praise the killings.
Paris-based reporter Jake Cigainero told PRI’s The World that two shooters opened fire on a restaurant called le Petite Cambodge, then holed up in the theater where they held the hostages. A ewitness inside the theater said the attackers were shooting for at least 15 minutes, reloading their guns three times.
Police called the concert venue “a scene of apocalypse,” according to Cigainero.
Hollande has canceled his upcoming trip to Turkey for the Group of 20 summit, and will hold a meeting with his defense council on Saturday morning.
France, which had been on heightened alert since the terror attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in January, had further upped border security in preparation for a upcoming UN summit on climate change, scheduled in Paris less than three weeks from now. More than 100 world leaders are expected to attend.
For now, the border is shut.
“This means no one gets in, and no one gets out until authorities are certain exactly what is happening and who is responsible for these attacks,” Cigainero says.
From the White House, President Barack Obama condemned the attackers. This, he said, was “an attack not just on Paris and not just on people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”
“We’re going to do whatever it takes … to bring these terrorists to justice,” he said.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 13, 2015
“These are a lot more coordinated, a lot more sophisticated than we saw during the Charlie Hebdo attack,” Vivienne Walt, a Paris-based correspondent for Time, told PRI’s The World.
Photographer and filmmaker Shane McMillan was in his apartment in the 11th district when the shootings broke out outside. He told PRI’s The World that he saw at least 10-15 people injured.
“I can’t tell who’s wounded and who’s not,” he said. “Everyone has blood on them.”
On social media, Parisians are posting their addresses, using the hashtag #PorteOuverte for those who need shelter in Paris.