PARIS (NEWS 1130) – French police say they believe all of the attackers involved in the shootings and bombings that rocked Paris are dead.
Micheal Cadot, the head of Paris police said that while all of the attackers are believed to have died, authorities are searching for possible accomplices in the attacks that left over 120 people dead.
A series of attacks targeting young concert-goers and Parisians enjoying a Friday night out at popular nightspots killed as many as 120 people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II. President Francois Hollande pledged that France would stand firm against what he called terrorism.
The worst carnage was at a concert hall hosting an American rock band, where scores of people were held hostage and attackers hurled explosives at their captives. Police who stormed the building, killing three attackers, encountered a bloody scene of horror inside.
Cadot said the attackers at the Bataclan rock venue blew themselves up with suicide belts as police closed in. He said the gunmen first sprayed cafes outside the venue with machine-gunfire, then went inside the concert hall and killed more before the assault by security forces.
Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country’s borders. The violence spread fear through the city and exceeded the horrors of the Charlie Hebdo attack just 10 months ago.
In addition to the deaths at the concert hall, a police official said 11 people were killed in a Paris restaurant in the 10th arrondissement and other officials said at least three people died when bombs went off outside a stadium.<
All of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named in the quickly moving investigation.
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.
BREAKING: Automatic gunfire heard from outside Paris concert hall where attackers are holding hostages.
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 13, 2015
Hollande, who had to be evacuated from the stadium when the bombs went off outside, said in a televised address that the nation would stand firm and united. “This is a terrible ordeal that again assails us,” he said. “We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.” US President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters in Washington, called the attacks on Paris “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and vowed to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice. He called the attacks a “heartbreaking situation” and an “attack on all of humanity.” Earlier Friday, two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium north of Paris during a France-Germany exhibition soccer game. A police union official said there were two suicide attacks and a bombing that killed at least three people. The official, Gregory Goupil of the Alliance Police Nationale, whose region includes the area of the stadium, said explosions went off simultaneously near two entrances and a McDonalds. An Associated Press reporter in the stadium Friday night heard two explosions loud enough to penetrate the sounds of cheering fans. Sirens were immediately heard, and a helicopter was circling overhead.
An Associated Press reporter in the stadium Friday night heard two explosions loud enough to penetrate the sounds of cheering fans. Sirens were immediately heard, and a helicopter was circling overhead.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named.
Kamloops music store owner Mike Miltimore was only steps from where the shootout occurred. Miltimore says he was in downtown Paris having dinner with a guitar designer when the shots rang out. He says the restaurant was evacuated and he was sent home to his hotel only blocks away. “Police came in with machine guns and everything like that and they’re shoo-ing everybody out of the streets and it’s … it’s actually a little scary when you don’t know what’s going on.”
The attack comes as France has heightened security measures ahead of a major global climate conference that starts in two weeks, out of fear of violent protests and potential terrorist attacks.
Emilioi Macchio, from Ravenna, Italy, was at the Carillon bar near the restaurant that was targeted, having a beer on the sidewalk, when the shooting started. He said he didn’t see any gunmen or victims, but hid behind a corner, then ran away.
“It sounded like fireworks,” he said.
Explosion just ouside Stade de France while France playing Germany https://t.co/0b1KvqukEW
— indykaila News (@indykaila) November 13, 2015
France has been on edge since deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in January on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery that left 20 dead, including the three attackers.
The restaurant targeted Friday, Le Carillon, is in the same general neighbourhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices, as is the Bataclan, among the best-known venues in eastern Paris, near the trendy Oberkampf area known for a vibrant nightlife.
The country remains on edge after January attacks on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. The Charlie Hebdo attackers claimed links to extremists in Yemen, while the kosher market attacker claimed ties to the Islamic State group.
The country has seen several smaller-scale attacks or attempts since, including an incident on a high-speed train in August in which American travellers thwarted an attempted attack by a heavily armed man.
France’s military is bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq and fighting extremists in Africa, and extremist groups have frequently threatened France in the past.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks.
French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who have travelled to Syria and returned home with skills to stage violence.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today issued the following statement:
“I am shocked and saddened that so many people have been killed and injured today in a number of terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and that many others are being held hostage.
“As the situation continues to unfold, Sophie and I join all Canadians in extending our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed. It is our sincere hope that the hostages are freed unharmed as soon as possible. We also wish a speedy recovery to all those who have been injured.
“Canada stands with France at this dark time and offers all possible assistance. We will continue to work closely with the international community to help prevent these terrible, senseless acts.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France and we mourn their loss.”
Barack Obama on Paris Attacks:
US President Barack Obama speaks about attacks in Paris from the briefing room of the White House, on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in Washington. Obama is calling the attacks on Paris an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and vows to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said he would not speculate about who was responsible. He called the attacks a “heartbreaking situation” and an “attack on all of humanity.”
Obama was briefed on the attacks Friday by his counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.