PARIS (AP) – It’s being called one of the deadliest attacks on Paris since World War II. A French prosecutor says the death toll could exceed 120 following attacks on at least six sites including a stadium, a restaurant and a concert hall, where at least 100 people were killed.
One official says security forces found “carnage” inside the music hall. An American band, Eagles of Death Metal, was due to be performing. A spokesman for the band says efforts are being made to contact members. An official says at least five attackers have been killed.
A police official confirmed one explosion in a bar near the stadium. It was not known if there were casualties.
French President Francois Hollande says he is closing the country’s borders and declaring a state of emergency.
Hollande, in a televised address to his nation, said the nation would stand firm and united against the attackers.
He said security forces are assaulting one of the sites hit by Friday’s attacks, without elaborating.
“It’s a horror,” he said.
Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Police officials in France on Friday reported a shootout in a Paris restaurant and an explosion in a bar near a Paris stadium. It was unclear if the events were linked. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama calls Paris attacks ‘outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians’
President Barack Obama is calling the attacks on Paris “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and is vowing 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.”
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.
Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer match between France and Germany in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Hundreds of people spilled onto the field of the Stade de France stadium after explosions were heard nearby during a friendly match between the French and German national soccer teams. French President Francois Hollande says he is closing the country’s borders and declaring a state of emergency after several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named.
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.
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 neighborhood 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.
Elite police officers arrive outside the Bataclan theater in Paris, France, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2015. Several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented attacks around Paris on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said, announcing that he was closing the country’s borders and declaring a state of emergency. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
The country has seen several smaller-scale attacks or attempts since, including an incident on a high-speed train in August in which American travelers 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.
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