Registered users can save articles to their personal articles list. Login here or sign up here

Paris attacks kill at least 120 as France goes into lockdown

Gunmen targeted hostages at a rock concert and diners at a restaurant. Attacks occurred at seven separate venues.

At least 120 people were killed in Paris in Europe’s worst terrorist attacks for more than a decade and France tightened border controls and shut down public venues after gunmen targeted hostages at a rock concert and diners at a restaurant.

President Francois Hollande imposed a state of alert and police advised people to stay indoors. Officials said attacks occurred at seven separate venues, including a sports stadium. Prosecutors said five of the attackers were killed, and French police said they couldn’t say how many were still at large. BFM television said security forces were still seeking one gunman.

As news of the attacks spread across the French capital, people huddled in quiet shock outside bars and cafes as the streets filled with the sound of sirens. Outside the concert venue, local media showed images of bodies shrouded in white sheets lined up on the streets.

In some of the latest developments:

  • Police stormed a Paris theater where hostages were being held at a rock concert; four gunmen were killed. Attackers shouted ‘Allahu Akbar,’ according to local media
  • A US counter-terrorism official said the attack points to enhanced capacity of jihadist groups as the Syrian civil war escalates
  • Hollande, who visited venue, told the nation in a televised address that “we must, in these difficult moments, show compassion and solidarity, but we also need to show unity and cool-headedness.”
  • France shut down all public venues Saturday, from museums to swimming pools, and police advised Parisians to stay indoors
  • Hollande said he’ll skip the G-20 meeting of the world’s biggest economies starting this weekend in Turkey, and will convene his defense cabinet Saturday morning
  • An additional 1,500 French troops were deployed in central Paris
  • President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron expressed solidarity and offered any help needed
  • American Airlines held up departures to Paris late Friday

The slaughter in Paris took place against a backdrop of mounting anxiety in Europe and beyond about jihadist extremism, as refugees from Syria pour into the continent. Seventeen people were killed in January in a rampage by gunmen that started at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine. Two weeks ago, a Russian passenger jet was downed over Sinai by what US and UK intelligence says was probably a bomb. On Thursday, suicide bombers killed more than 40 people in Beirut.

“France has always been aware of the threat but did not anticipate an attack of this scale,” said Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore. “Every successful attack is an intelligence failure. France will now take tougher measures.”

French airports remain open and trains are still running, the Foreign Ministry said. Air France warned that additional border controls will cause delays, though it is maintaining flights.

American Airlines canceled a Nov. 13 flight from Dallas to Paris, though said Nov. 14 flights will depart as planned. United Airlines said its flights are operating as planned.

US law enforcement officials are concerned that the attacks demonstrate an enhanced capacity by jihadists, an American counter-terrorism official said. If Islamic State is found to have carried out the Paris slaughter and the downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt two weeks ago, that would signal the group has evolved into a more sophisticated terrorist force that can carry out strikes beyond the Middle East, the official said.

Obama told reporters in Washington that Paris, where he’s due to attend a global climate-change summit in less than three weeks, has witnessed “an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.” He said the US stands ready to provide any needed assistance to its French ally.

The wave of attacks began earlier Friday when blasts rocked the Stade de France sports arena, where France was playing a soccer game against Germany. Hollande was at the game and was evacuated to the Interior Ministry.

The hostage-taking occurred at the Bataclan theater in the 11th district of Paris, where the US rock band Eagles of Death Metal was performing. There were also shootings outside a restaurant in the 10th district.

La Royale, a bar not far from the Bataclan, was turned into a makeshift medical center. By early Saturday morning it had been cleared, though splotches of blood remained on the floor and the walls, while blood-stained shoes and surgical gloves lay on the floor.

As it stands, the death toll would make Friday’s attacks the worst in Europe since the Madrid bombings of March 2004, which killed 191 people.

There’s a strong chance the attacks are related to France’s participation in the fight against extremists in Syria, where it’s joined the US-led campaign, and north Africa, said Thomas M. Sanderson, director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said Islamic State and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are the likeliest suspects.

“Long-standing grievances as well as contemporary activity by France makes them a tier-one target,” Sanderson said. “They’re not the primary actor from the air, we are, but they are much more reachable than the US is.”

The Paris attacks come on the same day that the US said it was “reasonably certain” that it killed the Islamic State extremist known as “Jihadi John” in an airstrike in Syria. The man, a British citizen called Mohamed Emwazi, became infamous internationally from his appearance in videos showing the beheadings of Americans held by the terrorist group. On Thursday, he was the intended target of a Hellfire missile fired from a US drone that hit a car near Raqqah.

©2015 Bloomberg News

COMMENTS   6

To comment, you must be registered and logged in.

LOGIN HERE

Don't have an account?
Sign up for FREE

France’s Open door Policy and Human Rights campaigns resulted in many muslims moving to France and becoming citizens. The offspring are now bored and easily brainwashed to become radical – hence the problems lastyear and now.

Migrants from Syria and other muslim countries will have the same results very soon.

They may have become citizens, but they don’t assimilate. They tend to want their new countries to become like their old countries.

I wonder how many terrorists are mingling with the streams of refugees and asylum seekers flooding into Europe from the war-zones of the Middle East.

Memo to myself: News reports indicate at least one came from Syria through the open doors of southern Europe.

Did you notice anything strange about the pictures of the “refugees” we saw a few weeks ago in Eastern Europe and Germany? About 70% of them were men of fighting age – and they weren’t starving emaciated waifs, either. Usually, one would expect to see mostly women and children while the men stay home to fight.

This is clearly the result of multiculturalism and political correctness. The belief foisted in Western Europe from above. This is not a grassroots movement but one from the very upper echelons of the ruling elite.

Many will blame and demonise Muslims, Islam in general and bewail the failure of multiculturalism. However, this demonstrates the success of the policy which is to pit the Christian west against Islam. If not done by proxy wars is Arab countries “aka the Arab Spring” what better than a Mulslim infusion in the heart of Christiandom, Europe creating civil war.

Countries such as Sweden have laid the foundations for their own Genocide. Their “men” are too busy being politically correct and no doubt marrying one another to protect their women folk. Sweden is now rape capital of Europe. Anyone resisting the invasion is a “facist”, a “right winger”. They all back down. Filthy cowards.

Nobody ever considers:

Q: Cui bono?
Q: who created ISIL/ISIS and who is funding them?
Q: Who in vented PC and multiculturalism (clue its from above)?
Q: To what end?

It’s time Western Europe woke up and grew a pair.

Load All 6 Comments
End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR

Podcasts

GO TO SHOP CART

Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company:
server: 172.17.0.2