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Current Affairs ( 12 Nov 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Paris Attacks: At Least 153 Killed In Gunfire and Blasts, French Officials Say


Paris Attacks: At Least 153 Killed In Gunfire and Blasts, French Officials Say

By Steve Almasy, Pierre Meilhan and Jim Bittermann

CNN,November 14, 2015

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.

Multiple attacks

According to French officials, at least:

112 were killed at the Bataclan theater.

14 were killed on Rue Bichat at the site of the Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, in the 10th district.

19 died on Rue de Charonne in the 11th district, outside a bar called La Belle Equipe.

Four were killed on Avenue de la Republique, in the 10th district.

Four others died outside the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis, north of Paris.

• 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.

Inside the Bataclan: 'A bloodbath,' witness says

• 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.

• U.S. citizens in Paris who are safe are being asked by the State Department to call their families. Those Americans in France needing assistance should call 001-202-501-4444. Americans concerned about loved ones in Paris should call 1-888-407-4747. An official told CNN the hotline was flooded with calls.

Impact Your World: How you can help those affected by the attacks

• Michael Dorio, brother of a member of the band that was playing at the Bataclan concert, said he spoke to Eagles of Death Metal drummer Julian Dorio about 20-30 minutes after the attack. "He said he had been performing and heard the gunshots. They stopped playing and hit the deck and went backstage and exited," Michael Dorio told CNN.

• BFMTV reports that SWAT units stormed Bataclan and that the siege was over. Two attackers were killed, a police union said. Police brought out at least 100 hostages from the concert hall, a CNN producer said; some appear to be wounded. Hollande told reporters outside Bataclan that "terrorists capable of carrying out such atrocities must know that they will face a France that is determined and united."

• Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman told CNN the death toll is going to rise significantly. "We are facing an unknown and historic situation in Paris," he said.

• Hollande called the events "unprecedented terrorist attacks" and added, "This is a horror." In a tweet, he said, "Faced with terror, this is a nation that knows how to defend itself, how to mobilize its forces and once again, knows how to overcome the terrorists."

• One of the explosions at the Stade de France, home of the French national sports teams, outside Paris appears to be a suicide bombing, a Western intelligence source receiving direct intelligence from the scene told CNN's Deb Feyerick. A dismembered body, consistent with the aftermath of an explosion from that type of device, was found at the scene, the source said. Watch: Explosion heard at Paris soccer game

• People were inviting people off the streets into their apartments, reports Philip Crowther, Washington correspondent for France 24.

• Traffic on several subway lines has been interrupted following the attacks, the Paris police prefecture reported.

• There is no credible or specific threat in the United States, according to a U.S. government official. An FBI spokesperson said the agency and the Department of Homeland Security were closely monitoring the unfolding events.

• Hollande, in an address to the nation, said he had declared a state of emergency, meaning borders will be closed. "We have to show compassion and solidarity and we also have to show unity and keep our cool. France must be strong and great," he said.

Multiple attacks in Paris

• The Paris prefecture of police instructed residents to stay home. The prefecture said via Twitter that people should stay inside "unless there's an absolute necessity."

Facebook activates 'Safety Check' for users during attack

• French authorities have launched a terrorism investigation, Eric Pelletier, a reporter with Le Pariesien, tells CNN Paul Cruickshank. There has been no official claim of responsibility, though ISIS has applauded the attacks on Twitter, Cruickshank reports.

Obama calls Paris attacks 'outrageous'

Paris terror attacks: 2016 hopefuls express shock, condolences

• Russian leader Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Hollande and the people of France. "Russia strongly condemns this inhumane killing and is ready to provide any and all assistance to investigate these terrorist crimes," he said.

• Three explosions took place at the Stade de France, CNN affiliate BFMTV said.

• Counterterrorism officials around the United States convened secure conference calls to try to gather information, according to two U.S. counterterrorism officials. Immediate suspicion for the events in Paris falls to so-called returnees -- people who have traveled to Syria and Iraq and have returned, the officials said.

In early January of this year, two gunmen attacked the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and wounding 11.

Said and Cherif Kouachi wanted to punish the magazine for the publication of cartoons that they believed mocked the Prophet Mohammed. The Kouachi brothers two days later were shot and killed in a standoff with police in Dammartin-en-Goele.

Amedy Coulibaly, an associate of Said and Cherif Kouachi, attacked a Jewish grocery store in Paris, taking more than a dozen people hostage and killing four. Coulibaly had killed a policewoman the day before, on January 8. Coulibaly was killed when police stormed the kosher market.

Support for Paris swells from around the world

CNN's Jim Bittermann reported from Paris and Steve Almasy and Pierre Meilhan reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Pierre Buet, Alanne Orjoux, Elise Labott, Margot Haddad, Peter Bergen, Pamela Brown, Michael Martinez, Evan Perez, Ralph Ellis, Josh Berlinger and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/13/world/paris-shooting/index.html

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Paris Terror Attacks Kill Over 100; France Declares Emergency State

By Adam Nossiter and Rick Gladstone

November 13, 2015

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.


 









A woman was evacuated from the Bataclan concert hall Friday. About 100 people were reportedly killed there

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.

François Molins, the public prosecutor for Paris, told reporters that at least five attackers had been killed. News services 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.

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,” Mr. Molins said.

The casualties eclipsed by far the deaths and mayhem 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 Germany and France 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.








 


A man wounded at the Stade de France, where a soccer game had been in progress.CreditIan Langsdon/European Pressphoto Agency

 “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 quoted by BFM television said 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 major American cities, including New York and Washington, said they were following the events in France, 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.”

Adam Nossiter reported from Paris, and Rick Gladstone from New York. Reporting was contributed by Aurelien Breeden, Liz Alderman, Marlise Simons and Nicola Clark from Paris; Melissa Eddy from Berlin; Sewell Chan from London; and Gardiner Harris, Eric Schmitt Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt from Washington.

Source: nytimes.com/2015/11/14/world/europe/paris-shooting-attacks.

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Full Text Of French President Francois Hollande's Statement

Reuters

Nov 14, 2015

Following is a translation of the televised address by President Francois Hollande during the deadly attacks in Paris on Friday:

"My dear compatriots,

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.

We have, on my decision, mobilised all forces possible to neutralise the terrorists and make all concerned areas safe. I have also asked for military reinforcements. They are currently in the Paris area, to ensure that no new attack can take place.

I have also called a cabinet meeting that will be held in a few minutes.

Two decisions will be taken: a state of emergency will be declared, which means that some places will be closed, traffic may be banned , and there will also be searches which may be decided throughout Ile de France (greater Paris). The state of emergency will be proclaimed throughout the territory (of France).

The second decision I have made is to close the borders. We must ensure that no one enters to commit any crimes and that those who have committed the crimes that we have unfortunately seen can also be arrested if they should leave the territory.

This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us. We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.

In these difficult moments, we must - and I'm thinking of the many victims, their families and the injured - show compassion and solidarity. But we must also show unity and calm.

Faced with terror, France must be strong, it must be great and the state authorities must be firm. We will be.

We must also call on everyone to be responsible.

What the terrorists want is to scare us and fill us with dread. There is indeed reason to be afraid. There is dread, but in the face of this dread, there is a nation that knows how to defend itself, that knows how to mobilise its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists.

French citizens, we have not completed the operations. There are still some that are extremely difficult. It's at this moment that the security forces are staging an assault, especially in a place in Paris.

I ask you to keep all your trust in what we can do with the security forces to protect our nation from terrorist acts.

Long live the Republic and long live France."

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Full-text-of-French-President-Francois-Hollandes-statement/articleshow/49776063.cms

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/current-affairs/adam-nossiter-and-rick-gladstone/paris-terror-attacks-kill-over-100;-france-declares-emergency-state/d/105265


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