Breaking News:Paris attacks 60 Reported Killed; Hostage Situation Ongoing

Medical staff stand by victims in a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Two police officials say at least 11 people have been killed in shootouts and other violence around Paris. Police have reported shootouts in at least two restaurants in Paris. At least two explosions have been heard near the Stade de France stadium, and French media is reporting of a hostage-taking in the capital. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)


Ft: Paris was struck by co-ordinated attacks on Friday night, causing chaos in the French capital in one of the deadliest terrorist atrocities on a western city since September 11.

President François Hollande declared that “several dozen” had died as he appeared on television to declare a state of emergency, deploying the military around Paris and closing France’s borders.

At least six attacks began in busy and popular areas of the capital around 10pm local time. shootings targeted a concert hall near Place de la République and two other nearby restaurants in the 10th and 11th arrondissement, while two explosions rocked the Stade de France in northern Paris

Special forces were being sent to the Bataclan concert hall on Boulevard Voltaire, where one or several attackers may be holding hostages, according a police officer with knowledge of the situation. Bataclan is a well-known 1,500 seat concert hall.

The assault may have killed as any as 42 people, according to the police officer. AFP reported that at least 39 were dead, while the Associated Press said there were at least 26 fatalities.

“It’s horrific,” President Hollande said. “Operations are still unfolding, there’s a police assault at the moment in Paris. We are mobilising all the police force possible to neutralise the terrorists.” He did not name the suspects, but said: “We know who they are, we know where they come from.”

The Paris police advised residents through social media to stay indoors.

Adam Thomson, a Financial Times reporter, said police had cordoned off the Place de la République. He heard automatic gunfire followed by two huge explosions near the Bataclan, suggesting a possible police assault.

Police cordoned off the Place de la République. A series of automatic gunfires followed by two huge explosions were heard, suggesting a police assault.

A witness recounted on BFM TV seeing gunmen shooting at clients in a restaurant near rue de Charonne. Another restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge, was targeted.

FT columnist Simon Kuper, who was watching the game in the Stade de France, reported that about 20 minutes into the game, the sellout crowd — decked in red, white and blue for the match against the world champions — heard a loud explosion coming from outside the stadium.

There were a few cheers — a common response to a firecracker at a match. But a few minutes later another loud bang was heard, followed by police sirens, and it became apparent that these were not firecrackers. President Hollande, who was in the crowd, left the stadium.

The match continued and French fans did the Mexican wave, and exuberantly cheered the two French goals. At the end of the match, the stadium announcer informed the crowd through the tannoy that because of ‘incidents outside’, they could only leave the stadium by certain gates.

Many fans left the Stade de France, but a couple of thousand walked on to the field, where they waited quietly, uncertain whether to leave the stadium and go home, especially given the reports of shootings coming from central Paris. But within 45 minutes of the final whistle, almost all the crowd had vacated the stadium.

The BBC reported that at least one man opened fire with an automatic weapon in a shootout in a central Paris restaurant shooting in the 10th arrondissement of the capital.

In a brief statement from the White House, President Barack Obama said that the violence was “terrorism” and promised that the US would provide any help that France requested.

“We will do whatever it takes to work with the French people and nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice,” he said. The attacks were an “outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians”.

He added: “This was not just an attack on Paris and the people of France, but an attack on all of humanity and universal values we share.”

Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said the attack had all the signs of a terrorist operation.

“Given the disturbing similarities to other attacks, this clearly co-ordinated series of violent acts bears all the hallmarks of international terrorism. Many hundreds of French citizens have travelled to Syria and Iraq, and the risk from those who return is well known and severe,” he said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that he is “shocked by events in Paris tonight,” adding, “our thoughts and prayers are with the French people.” German’s Angela Merkel said she was “deeply shaken” by the attacks and that her thoughts were with the victims, their relatives and the people of Paris.

If the casualties are confirmed, the attacks would be much deadlier than the terrorist assaults that hit the French capital in January, when three Islamist extremists killed 17 in a series of attacks at weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.
Source: Financial times.


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