Saturday, November 14, 2015 12:22 am
President Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency in France, as the terrorists attacks in the city claimed about 60 lives. The AFP put the death toll at 39, with 100 people held as hostages in a theatre.
The Paris city authorities warned residents to stay at home as government attempts to cope with what Hollande called ‘an unprecedented terrorist attacks” in several areas of the city.
In Washington, President Obama said the attacks were not just on the people of France but on ‘all humanity’. German chancellor , Angela Merkel expressed a profound shock.
The attacks came ten months after the deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks, said to have been a revenge on staff of a satirical cartoon magazine, mocking Prophet Muhammed.
The attacks began Friday night with a lone gunman wielding a Kalashnikov, shotting sporadically at people in central Paris.
Then came reports of explosions and suicide bombing near the stadium where France was hosting Germany in a friendly football match.
Police said at least 15 people had been killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. And there over 100 people were being held as hostages.
Police said a hostage scenario was ongoing at the venue, which is in an area known for its busy nightlife. One witness in the theatre told AFP that one of the gunmen shouted Allah Akbar before spraying the hostages with gun fire.
Three people were killed in an explosion outside the Stade de France north of the capital, police said, during a match between Germany and France.
Spectators flooded the pitch as news of the attacks spread. Organisers started evacuating the stadium by three doors.
Another attack was reported at the Petit Cambodge restaurant, not far from the Bataclan venue.
An AFP reporter outside the Bataclan said there were armed police and some 20 police wagons with their lights flashing around the scene.
Stunned onlookers had begun to emerge from nearby bars, while many others continued to eat their meals in restaurants, apparently unaware of the carnage that had taken place only a few metres away.