Deadly attacks shock Paris, at least 140 reportedly killed

2015-11-14 09:49

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Months after Paris deadly attacks in January that left dozens of victims, calmness was broken once again in the French capital where fresh explosions and a series of shootings killed at least 140 people and wounded many.

About seven simultaneous shootings rocked central Paris Friday night with one of which turned to hostage taking at the Bataclan theatre and concert hall where hundreds of people were attending a concert of a rock group.

During anti-terrorist forces assault at the hall, more than 100 people died and four suspected attackers were killed, according to local media.

At least two explosions were heard near the national stadium Stade de France where a France-Germany friendly soccer match was being played, attended by French President Francois Hollande. Spectators were held in the stadium and continued to watch the game till the end despite the panic atmosphere while police helicopters circled the stadium.

Rushing back to the Interior Ministry from Stade de France, Hollande condemned the "unprecedented terrorist attacks". In the 11th district of Paris, after shooting in the theatre Batacla, police confirmed a hostage taking.

During police's deployment in front of the theatre, two or three individuals, heavily armed, opened fire at the security forces, BFMTV reported. In an eyewitness report posted on Europe1 website, Julien Pierce, a journalist from the broadcaster said "two or three individuals, who are not wearing masks and armed with kalachnikov entered the hall while the concert was underway and started blindly shooting at the crowd."

In a brief statement on television, the French president declared a state of emergency across the country and the borders were to be closed. "Some places will be closed, traffic will be banned and searches may be conducted throughout the Ile-de-France," he said, adding about 1,500 military reinforcements have been deployed "to ensure that no other attack can take place".

In a tweet, the Paris municipality asked Parisians to stay home while train and bus traffic were suspended in the 10th and 11th districts of Paris where attacks occurred. The city hall of Paris also said at least 140 were killed Friday night during the shootings and explosions.

In addition, the capital schools and universities will be closed on Saturday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Paris attacks, but according to the news channel BFMTV, the terrorists shouted "It's for Syria".

The likely coordinated attacks came as France, a member of the U.S.-led coalition combating the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, struck the group's strategic targets this week. On high alert for terrorist attacks, the French government raised the anti-terrorism alert to maximum and additional thousands of security forces have been poured across the country to protect sensitive sites.

Hollande, who canceled his participation at the G20 summit, will head a defense meeting on Saturday morning after the deadly attacks has shaken the country's security policy ahead of the high-profile international conference on climate scheduled for the end of this month.

According to the French Foreign Ministry, airports and train stations will be open, and the service will be assured. Till now, no official death toll is confirmed yet.

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