Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Horror in Paris

At least 127 people were killed and scores were wounded, 80 of them critically, in apparently coordinated attacks late Friday on six sites across the French capital ranging from restaurants and a concert venue to a sports stadium.

The simultaneous shootings and explosions take place across Paris starting at 9:20pm (8:20pm GMT).

Three explosions take place near the Stade de France stadium during a friendly match between France and Germany attended by some 80,000 spectators, including French President François Hollande, who was immediately evacuated. Spectators were told to move out onto the pitch to await further instructions from security forces. One person was killed in the blast along with three suicide bombers.

In the 10th district (arrondissement) of Paris, 12 people are killed on the terrace of popular Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge.

On rue de Charonne in the 11th district, 18 people are killed in gunfire that witnesses said lasted for two or three minutes.

At the Bataclan concert hall, where the California-based group Eagles of Death Metal were performing, several armed men open fire on the audience, crying "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) and take hostages.

In the 11th district near to iconic Place de la République, five people are killed on the terrace of pizzeria La Casa Nostra.

Another attack in which one is killed happened at the same time on the other side of Place de la République. One suicide bomber is killed.

At 10:30pm, French President François Hollande goes to the interior ministry to monitor the situation.

The anti-terrorism prosecutor takes over the investigation into the attacks.

Several Paris metro stations are closed by the police.

At 11:43pm, a new toll of at least 35 dead is reported.

At 11:50pm, US President Barack Obama condemns the attacks as an "attack on all of humanity".

Paris hospitals go into emergency mode.

At 12:01am, Hollande declares a state of emergency and announces the closure of France's borders.

At 12:30am, police storm the Bataclan venue, ending the operation 30 minutes later. At least 82 people were killed in the concert hall attack, as well as four attackers: three die after activating their suicide vests and the fourth is shot dead.

Hollande visits the Bataclan, where he vows to lead a "merciless" fight against terrorists.

France deploys an additional 1,500 soldiers to Paris.

The presidency says that border controls will be reinstated but the borders will remain open.

The death toll is updated to at least 120.

Investigators announce at 4:30am that eight attackers were killed, seven of which blew themselves up.

Hollande and Obama agree in telephone talks to strengthen bilateral cooperation against terrorism.

Schools, markets, museums and major tourist sites in the Paris area are closed and sporting matches cancelled.

Security checks are stepped up in several European capitals.

Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the head of Sunni Islam's leading seat of learning, Cairo's Al-Azhar, condemns the "hateful" attacks and urges global unity against extremism.

In a televised address at 10:50am, Hollande calls the attacks "an act of war" committed by the Islamic State group's "terrorist army". He declares three days of national mourning.

The Islamic State militant group claims responsibility for the attacks.

Investigators continue to examine DNA traces taken from the attack sites to identify the attackers.

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