Paris latest: Six places attacked, no clue about assailants yet
Several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented attacks around Paris on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said, announcing that he was closing the country’s borders and declaring a state of emergency.
At least 140 people were killed in multiple attacks in Paris Friday, including at a concert venue and another near a sports stadium, officials said.
The apparently coordinated gun and bomb assaults, which also targeted busy restaurants and bars, came as the country, a founder member of the US-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference due to open later this month. Here is the latest news about the attacks:
* About 100 people were killed at Bataclan concert hall and 40 others died in other locations in and around Paris, says AP quoting a Paris city hall official. There were at least six attacks in the city.
*One official described “carnage” inside the building, saying the attackers had tossed explosives at the hostages. Both officials said they expected the toll of victims to rise.
* One of the attackers at the concert hall fired into the crowd shouting “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest), a witness said.
*The Paris police prefecture told residents to remain home and avoid going out unless absolutely necessary
*A police union official says there were two suicide attacks and a bombing near the national stadium where France and Germany were playing a friendly match.
*There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, and no clear picture of how many attackers were involved and if any were on the run. Jihadists on Twitter immediately praised the attack and criticized France’s military operations against Islamic State extremists.
*Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert and senior adviser to the president of RAND Corp., said the extremist group is clearly the name at the top of everyone’s list.” He said this was because the tactic used-- “multiple attackers in coordinated attacks at multiple locations”--echoed recommendations published in extremist group’s online magazine.
*James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA in 1993-195 and now chancellor at the Institute of World Politics, also told the BBC he suspected the Islamic State because the coordinated nature of the attacks required government-style planning.
*Former US Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff says it is too early to know exactly what was happening in Paris.
*Social media posts from purported ISIS supporters could indicate that “there was a group waiting for this, but it could be a group watching,” Chertoff said in an interview with MSNBC Friday night.
*Hundreds of people spilled onto the field of the Stade de France stadium after explosions were heard nearby during a friendly match between the French and German national soccer teams.
*A stadium announcer made an announcement over the loudspeaker after the match, telling fans to avoid certain exits “due to events outside,” without elaborating.
*At first that prompted some panic, but then the crowds just walked dazed, hugging each other and looking at their phones for the latest news of the violence. Many appeared hesitant to leave amid the uncertainty after France’s deadliest attacks in decades.
*A Paris police official said there were at least 100 hostages in a Paris theater following shooting and explosions at two cites in the city.
(With inputs from the Associated Press, Reuters and AFP)