Terrorist Attack in Paris 160 Killed,Paris Attack Video
NY TIMES Report
PARIS — The Paris area reeled Friday night from a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage-taking that President François Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack on France. His government announced sharply increased border controls and heightened police powers as it mobilized the military in a national emergency.
French television and news services quoted the police as saying that around 100 people had been killed at a concert site where hostages had been held during a two-hour standoff with the police, and that perhaps dozens of others had been killed in apparently coordinated attacks outside the country’s main sports stadium and four other popular locations in the city. But estimates on the total number of dead varied.
Witnesses on French television said the scene at the concert hall, which can seat as many as 1,500 people, was a massacre, describing how gunmen with automatic weapons shot bursts of bullets into the crowd.Ambulances were seen racing back and forth in the area into the early hours of Saturday, and hundreds of survivors were evacuated in police buses. French television said Paris hospitals were overwhelmed with wounded.
News agencies quoted Michel Cadot, head of the Paris police, as saying early Saturday that all the assailants involved in shootings or bombings were believed to be dead, and the Paris prosecutor’s office said that eight attackers were dead, according to The Associated Press.
But the total number involved in the attacks, including accomplices still at large, remained unclear.
“We are going to try and determine what happened, determine what the profiles of these terrorists are, find out what their course of action was, find out if there are still accomplices or co-attackers,” said François Molins, the public prosecutor for Paris.
The casualties eclipsed by far the deaths in Paris during the massacre at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and related assaults around the French capital by Islamic militant extremists less than a year ago.
Those attacks traumatized France and other countries in Europe, elevating fears of religious extremism and violent jihadists who have been radicalized by the conflicts in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.
An explosion near the sports stadium, the Stade de France, which French news services said was apparently a suicide bombing, occurred as the German and French national teams were playing a soccer match, forcing a hasty evacuation of Mr. Hollande. As the scope of the assaults quickly became clear, he convened an emergency cabinet meeting and announced that France was placing severe restrictions on its border crossings.
“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region,” he said in a nationally televised address. “There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded. It’s horrific.”
Mr. Hollande said that on his orders the government had “mobilized all the forces we can muster to neutralize the threats and secure all of the areas.”
President Obama came to the White House briefing room to express solidarity and offer aid and condolences. “Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,” he said. “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.” Other world leaders quickly condemned the assaults.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Twitter erupted with celebratory messages by members and sympathizers of the Islamic State, the extremist group based in Syria and Iraq that is under assault by major powers, including the United States, France and Russia.
The main shooting broke out at a popular music hall, the Bataclan, where the American band Eagles of Death Metal was among those playing. French news services said as many as 100 hostages may have been taken there, many of them apparently killed later. Some accounts said that grenades had been lobbed inside the music hall and that some of the assailants had detonated suicide vests.
A witness told BFM television that he heard rounds of automatic rifle fire and someone shouting “Allahu akbar!” at the Bataclan.
Another witness who escaped the concert hall told BFM: “When they started shooting we just saw flashes. People got down on the ground right away.”
The police ordered bystanders in that area of the city to get off the streets as officers mobilized. Government officials urged people elsewhere to stay indoors.
Other French news media reported that Kalashnikov rifles had been involved in the shootings — a favored weapon of militants who have attacked targets in France — and that many rounds had been fired.
Police sirens sounded throughout central Paris on Friday night.
Despite the increased border security, air travel in and out of Paris appeared to be unaffected. Officials at Charles de Gaulle Airport confirmed that flights had not been suspended, although security had been heightened significantly. Both departing and arriving passengers and baggage were being screened thoroughly.
Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, said early Saturday that he had offered to send military assistance to France if requested. “I am in close contact with my French colleague and have offered assistance through German special forces,” he said in a statement.
Loretta E. Lynch, the United States attorney general, also offered help. “We stand in solidarity with France, as it has stood with us so often in the past,” she said in a statement. “This is a devastating attack on our shared values, and we at the Department of Justice will do everything within our power to assist and work in partnership with our French law enforcement colleagues.”
While the police in American cities, including New York and Washington, said they were following the events, there was no indication of possible attacks planned in the United States.
“We will not hesitate to adjust our security posture, as appropriate, to protect the American people,” the F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
American and European counterterrorism officials were reviewing wiretaps and other electronic surveillance records, but a senior American security official said there was no immediate indication that there had been suspicious chatter or other warning signs before the attack.
Unlike the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January, terrorism experts said, the attacks on the targets on Friday had no apparent rationale. Instead, assailants appeared to strike at random in hip neighborhoods on a Friday night when many people would be starting to enjoy the weekend.
“It’s a Friday night, and there’s a lot of people out, a lot of tourists out,” said a senior European counterterrorism official. “If you want maximum exposure, you do it like this, in the dark, when it’s scarier and more difficult for police to act.” Source : NYTIMES
Paris attacks: At least 153 killed in gunfire and blasts, French officials say
Paris (CNN)On a night when thousands of Paris residents and tourists were reveling and fans were enjoying a soccer match between France and world champion Germany, horror struck in an unprecedented manner. Terrorists — some with AK-47s, some reportedly with bombs strapped to them — attacked sites throughout the French capital and at the stadium where the soccer match was underway.
Scores were killed in the coordinated attacks late Friday, leaving a nation in mourning and the world in shock. CNN will update this story as information comes in:
Paris Prosecutor spokeswoman Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre said eight extremists are dead after attacks. Seven of them were killed in suicide bombings.
• U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with French President Francois Hollande to offer condolences and assistance in the investigation, the White House said. Earlier, Obama said, “This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people on France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share.” He called the attacks an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.”
• A total of six locations were attacked in and just outside the capital, Paris prosecutor François Molins told reporters Saturday.
Five suspected attackers have been “neutralized,” said Molins. It was unclear whether that term meant the terrorists were dead.
• A witness tells Radio France that attackers inside the Bataclan concert hall entered firing rifles and shouting “Allah akbar.”
• At least 153 people were killed in the Paris and Saint-Denis shootings and bombings, French officials said. Saint-Denis is home to the national stadium where the soccer match was being played.
• The worst carnage occurred at Bataclan, with at least 112 left dead. A journalist who was at a rock concert there escaped and told CNN: “We lied down on the floor not to get hurt. It was a huge panic. The terrorists shot at us for 10 to 15 minutes. It was a bloodbath.” Julien Pearce didn’t hear the attackers speak, but he said one friend who escaped heard them talk about Iraq and Syria. Later, he said the men were speaking French. Two men dressed in black started shooting and after wounded people fell to the floor, the gunmen shot them again, execution-style, he said.
CNN affiliate BFMTV, citing French officials, said some gunmen were still at large.
• Charlotte Brehaut and a friend were dining in Le Petit Cambodge, a Cambodian restaurant, when the shooting started from the street, she told CNN. “All of a sudden we heard huge gunshots and glass coming through the windows. We ducked with the other diners,” she said. She grabbed the arm of a woman on the floor. The woman didn’t respond. The woman was shot in the chest and there was blood all around her. At least 14 people were killed in Le Petit Cambodge, authorities said.
Four attackers were killed, including three who were wearing explosives belts, at Bataclan during the police raid, Paris police spokesman Michel Cadot told France Info radio.
• There is great alarm over the apparent methodology and likely planning that would have been needed to pull off such a series of attacks, one U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN. The attacks resembled tactics that have been used by a number of terror groups — including al Qaeda’s focus on mass casualties and visibility, and the small, tactical nature of attacks that are more the hallmark of ISIS and its acolytes. It is still not clear who is responsible.Source : CNN
Gunmen and bombers attacked restaurants, a concert hall and a sports stadium at locations across Paris on Friday, killing at least 120 people in a deadly rampage that a shaken President Francois Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack.
A Paris city hall official said four gunmen systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people attending a rock concert at the Bataclan music hall. Anti-terrorist commandos eventually launched an assault on the building. The gunmen detonated explosive belts and dozens of shocked survivors were rescued.
Some 40 more people were killed in five other attacks in the Paris region, the city hall official said, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the national stadium, where Hollande and the German foreign minister were watching a friendly soccer international. Some 200 people were injured.
The coordinated assault came as France, a founder member of the U.S.-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference due to open later this month.
Paris Public Prosecutor Francois Molins said the death toll was at least 120. His spokeswoman said eight assailants had also died, seven of whom had blown themselves up with explosive belts at various locations, while one had been shot dead by police.
“The terrorists, the murderers raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering (the concert hall). There were many victims in terrible, atrocious conditions in several places,” police prefect Michel Cadot told reporters.
After being whisked from the soccer stadium near the blasts, Hollande declared a nationwide state of emergency – the first since the end of World War Two – and announced the closure of France’s borders to stop perpetrators escaping.
The Paris metro railway was closed and schools, universities and municipal buildings were ordered to stay shut on Saturday. However some rail and air services are expected to run.
“This is a horror,” the visibly shaken president said in a midnight television address to the nation before chairing an emergency cabinet meeting.
He later went to the scene of the bloodiest attack, the Bataclan music hall, and vowed that the government would wage a “merciless” fight against terrorism.
All emergency services were mobilized, police leave was canceled, 1,500 army reinforcements were drafted into the Paris region and hospitals recalled staff to cope with the casualties.
The prosecutor’s spokeswoman said she could not say whether any gunmen were still at large.
Radio stations broadcast warnings to Parisians to stay home and leave the streets and urged residents to give shelter to anyone caught out in the street.
The deadliest attack was on the Bataclan, a popular concert venue where the Californian rock group Eagles of Death Metal was performing. The concert hall is just a few hundred meters from the former offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, target of a deadly attack by Islamist gunmen in January.