More than 100 people have been killed in a series of horrific terror attacks in Paris, CNN reports. Four of the dead may be officials or police. In addition, some Americans may be unaccounted for, according to early news reports. The head of the Paris police is saying that all the attackers are believed to be dead, although some accomplices may be at large, The Guardian reported.
Explosions and shootings were reported in multiple locations, including at the national soccer stadium, a restaurant and a concert hall, where hostages were held until police stormed in and ended the siege.
There have been no official claims of responsibility, but ISIS-affiliated social media accounts have been celebrating the attacks. President Francis Hollande has recently said that the attacks were by the Islamic State, Reuters reported.
Hollande called the attacks a “major trauma” for France during a live press conference.
“This is not over,” he said, saying the terrorist attacks are ongoing and France is prepared to respond. He has declared three days of national mourning.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. Witnesses Said They Saw Victims Near the Petit Cambodge Restaurant
Multiple locations, including restaurants, were among the targets of the attacks. Some of the attackers had Kalashnikov rifles when they started firing, according to reports. The first shooting took place at the Petit Combodge restaurant in the 10th district of Paris, an area that’s especially busy on a Friday evening. A police official said 11 people were killed near there, NBC reported. Nearby bars and restaurants were evacuated as police rushed to the scene. Shots were also fired at Le Carillon, a cafe near the restaurant.
Additional reports stated that a shooting may have occurred at the Les Halles Shopping Mall in Paris, according to Reuters. There were also reports of shots fired near the Louvre Museum and near La Belle Equipe restaurant, The Huffington Post reported.
Hollande declared a state of emergency and called the attacks “a horror.” About 1,500 French soldiers have been deployed to Paris, AFP reported. In a press conference, Hollande said that searches would be conducted throughout France. In his speech (translated) he said:
This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us. We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are… Faced with terror, France must be strong, it must be great and the state authorities must be firm. We will be.”
2. At Least Three Explosions Took Place Just Outside Stade de France Where the National Soccer Team Was Playing
Explosions, possibly the result of suicide bombings, were heard at the Stade de France during the football match between France and Germany. At least one of the explosions was at a nearby restaurant. The explosions were loud enough to be heard above the sound of cheering fans.
The game continued on, but President Hollande was rushed out of the stadium and to safety. Police secured the area around the stadium, and fans were let out of the stadium in groups.
Earlier in the day, Germany’s team was evacuated from a hotel after a bomb threat was phoned in.
3. Police Waged an Assault on the Gunmen in the Concert Hall, But As Many as 100 People Inside Had Already Been Killed
CNN is reporting that hostages may have been taken in a famous concert hall in Paris, during an Eagles of Death Metal performance.
Police could be seen outside the concert hall, which holds 1,500 people. There have been reports of at least 100 hostages being held there.
A person inside the concert hall, the Bataclan, posted on Facebook that he is still inside. He said there are survivors inside and they are being attacked one by one.
Police stormed the attackers in the concert hall and at least two of the attackers were killed, RT reported. But by the time they got there, up to 100 people may have already been killed by the terrorists, Fox News reported. Paris officials said that there was “carnage” inside and it appeared that terrorists had thrown explosives at the hostages and may have also blown themselves up so they wouldn’t be taken.
The American band was founded by Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme, who was not performing with the band at the time. According to reports on social media, the band escaped to safety, but not all the crew were accounted for. Read more about the band at the link below:
4. France Has Closed Its Borders And Facebook Has Started a “Safety Check” Page
President Hollande said at a press conference that the country is closing its borders as a result of the attack. Belgium has also closed its borders. France had already increased its security measures in anticipation of a climate conference starting in two weeks, NBC reported. It’s not exactly certain what it means for France to close its borders. Flights are still going in and out of France, but with increased security, The Guardian reported. Train services are also continuing.
Police were asking people to stay inside. Residents are using Twitter to offer sanctuary to those who need it:
Meanwhile, Facebook has started a safety check page where people can report that they are safe and were not hurt in the terrorist attack. The French government has also set up a webpage to report missing people and gather statements from witnesses here.
Senior British officials are hosting an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the implications of the attacks in Paris, The Guardian reported. British intelligence agencies and the United States have offered to help France. Despite the emergency meeting, the UK is not likely to raise its terrorist threat level. The level is already at its second highest, with the top level reserved for imminent attacks. Meanwhile, police in New York are bolstering security at high-profile locations in response to the Paris attacks.
Paris has turned off the lights on The Eiffel Tower in memory of the victims.
5. The Attacks May Be Tied to Islamic Terrorism
Although not yet confirmed, some witnesses are reporting that the attacks are tied to Islamic terrorism, possibly ISIS. A patron inside the Bataclan said the men yelled “Allah Akbar” before they started shooting, The Telegraph reported. The Bataclan location is very close to where the Charlie Hebdo attacks occurred.
The hashtag “Paris is burning,” is being used by Islamic extremists.
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said the attacks had all the signs of an Islamic State attack. Hollande has recently said that the attacks were done by the Islamic State, Reuters reported. The attacks may have been organized from abroad, with help from people within France.
Hollande told reporters outside the Bataclan concert hall that France is going to wage a war against the terrorists without mercy, The Guardian reported:
To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.
Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow.”