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Paris attacks: 140 killed in night of horror
November 14, 2015, 8:26 am
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Six attacks reported, including suicide blast at France-Germany soccer match, hostage-taking at theatre and restaurant

A string of coordinated attacks in and around Paris late on Friday left scores of people dead in the worst such violence in France's history.

The assailants struck at least six very different venues, ranging from the national sports stadium to a pizzeria. Their accomplices may still be on the loose, a prosecutor said.

The death toll - 140 as of early Saturday, according to a Reuters report - is expected to rise.

Witnesses said that scores of people were massacred by attackers during a rock concert and others in a suicide bombing near the national stadium. Witnesses said the attackers shouted "Allahu akbar" and blamed France's military intervention in Syria as they sprayed bullets into the crowd. Earlier on Friday, the United States and Britain said they had launched an attack in the Syrian town of Raqqa on a British Daesh militant known as "Jihadi John" but it was not certain whether he had been killed.

Attackers killed

Four men who attacked a concert hall and killed around 100 people were themselves killed when police stormed the building, including three who activated explosives belts, several sources said.

"Three of them blew themselves up and a fourth, who was also wearing a belt, was hit by police fire and blew up as he fell," one source said.

Scene at Bataclan concert hall

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. Fellow radio presenter Pierre Janaszak heard the first shots and thought it was part of the act.

"But we quickly understood. They were just firing into the crowd."

He said he heard an attacker say, "It's the fault of Hollande, it's the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria."

Four assailants were killed after police stormed in - three by activating their suicide vests and a fourth shot dead - but not before they had mown down some 100 people.

Scene at Stade de France

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. French President Francois Hollande, who was watching the game, was immediately evacuated.

The match was eventually completed and the stadium emptied in a relatively calm atmosphere. 

Scene at Rue Bichat

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."

Scene at Rue de la Fontaine au Roi

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."

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.
 
Scene at Boulevard Voltaire

A judicial source said one of the attackers exploded his suicide vest on the Boulevard Voltaire, near the Bataclan. It is not yet known if there were any injuries from the explosion.

State of Emergency

President Hollande declared state of emergency across France, closing borders after the Paris attacks.

Intelligence sources say French the border was closed out of concern Daesh may have infiltrated migrants flooding Europe and that recent intelligence warned of it.

Hollande did not confirm a fatality number, but said 1,500 soldiers is being deployed around city.

There were reports that as many as 100 hostages were taken at Bataclan, where the American band Eagles of Death Metal was scheduled to perform Friday night.

The band, which features a rotating group of musicians playing what is described as garage rock, not death metal, had sold-out the 1,500 person capacity venue.

The status of the band is unclear, but French group Red Lemons says the band members were safe.

In London, UK Prime Minister David Cameron (@David_Cameron) said: “I am shocked by events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help.”

EU Commission President Juncker (@JunckerEU): I am deeply shocked by the events in Paris. We stand in solidarity alongside the French.

In Washington, President Obama said: “This is an attack on all of humanity.” He added: “ We don't yet know all the details on Paris attacks; we are in contact with French officials, situation still unfolding.”

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