Paris was struck by co-ordinated attacks on Friday night, killing scores of people in one of the deadliest terrorist atrocities in a western capital city since September 11, 2001.
The Paris prosecutor said in the early hours of Saturday morning that at least 120 people had died in attacks at six sites, and told Reuters that five suspects had been “neutralised”.
Paris police were hunting for any accomplices but all the attackers were believed dead, said Paris prefect Michel Cadot. At least two attackers blew themselves up, according to police officials.
The assailants struck at least six very different venues, ranging from the national sports stadium to a pizzeria.
- At least 120 people were killed and 200 were left injured at multiple locations in the French capital
- Attackers targeted Bataclan concert hall, a sports stadium and restaurants
- Gunmen used AK-47s; one of the three explosions outside the stadium was caused by a suicide bomber
- At least five militants were behind the attacks
- France declares emergency, closes borders
Police said at least 120 people were killed in total in the city which is still reeling from jihadist attacks in January.
“Terrorist attacks of an unprecedented level are underway across the Paris region,” Hollande said in an emotional televised message. “It’s a horror.”
A full house of 1,500 people were packed into the popular venue in eastern Paris for a concert by the US band Eagles of Death Metal.
About an hour after the band took to the stage, the whole concert hall was turned into “a bloodbath” according to a French radio reporter at the scene.
Black-clad gunmen wielding AK-47s stormed into the hall and fired calmly and methodically at hundreds of screaming concert-goers, killing at least 100.
Three loud explosions were heard outside France’s national stadium during the first half of a friendly international football match between France and Germany.
At least five people died outside the glittering venue which staged the 1998 World Cup final with several others seriously hurt.
One of the explosions was near a McDonald’s restaurant on the fringes of the stadium.
At least one of the two explosions in rue Jules-Rimet was a suicide bomb attack.
Japanese restaurant targeted
A little further east on Rue de Charonne 18 people were killed, with one witness saying a Japanese restaurant was the main target.
“There was blood everywhere,” the witness said.
Another man said he heard shots ring out, in sharp bursts, for two or three minutes.
“I saw several bloody bodies on the ground. I don’t know if they were dead,” he said.
Cambodian restaurant attacked
Pierre Montfort lives close to a Cambodian restaurant on Paris’ Rue Bichat, a little further north, was the scene of another attack.
“We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks,” he said.
Florence said she arrived by scooter a minute or so after.
“It was surreal, everyone was on the ground. No one was moving inside the Petit Cambodge restaurant and everyone was on the ground in bar Carillon,” she said.
“It was very calm — people didn’t understand what was going on. A young girl was being carried in the arms of a young man. She seemed to be dead.”
A few hundred metres from the Bataclan, the terrace of the Casa Nostra pizzeria was targeted.
Five people were killed by attackers wielding automatic rifles, according to witness Mathieu, 35.
“There were at least five dead around me, others in the road, there was blood everywhere. I was very lucky.”
FT columnist Simon Kuper, who was watching the football game in the Stade de France, reported that about 20 minutes into the game, the sellout crowd — decked in red, white and blue for the match against the world champions — heard a loud explosion coming from outside the stadium.
There were a few cheers — a common response to a firecracker at a match. But a few minutes later another loud bang was heard, followed by police sirens, and it became apparent that these were not firecrackers.
British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that he was “shocked by events in Paris tonight”, adding, “our thoughts and prayers are with the French people”.
Germany’s Angela Merkel said she was “deeply shaken” by the attacks and that her thoughts were with the victims, their relatives and the people of Paris.
If the toll is confirmed, the attacks would be much deadlier than the terrorist assaults that hit the French capital in January, when three Islamist extremists killed 17 in a series of attacks at weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.