Gunmen and bombers attacked a concert hall restaurants and a sports stadium at locations on Friday, killing at least 120 people in a fatal rampage that an unprecedented terrorist attack was called by a shaken President Francois Hollande.
A Paris city hall official said four gunmen slaughtered at least 87 young people attending a rock concert at the Bataclan music hall. Anti-terrorist commandos finally launched an assault. The gunmen detonated explosive belts and dozens of shocked survivors were rescued.
Some 40 more people were killed in five other strikes the city hall official said, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the national stadium, where the German foreign minister along with Hollande were seeing a friendly soccer international.
Paris Public Prosecutor Francois Molins said the death toll was at least 120.
“The terrorists, the assassins raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering (the concert hall). There have been many victims in terrible, atrocious conditions in several places,” cops prefect Michel Cadot told reporters.
After being whisked from the soccer stadium near the blasts, Hollande declared a national state of emergency – the first since the conclusion – and announced the closure of France’s borders to prevent perpetrators.
The Paris metro railway was closed and schools, universities and municipal buildings were ordered to stay shut on Saturday. Yet some air and railway services are expected to run.
“This is a terror,” the clearly shaken president said in a midnight television address to the country before chairing a crisis cabinet meeting.
All emergency services were marshalled, police leave was canceled, 1,500 army reinforcements were drafted into the Paris region and hospitals called back staff to contend with the casualties.
The prosecutor’s spokeswoman said she was not able to say whether any gunmen were still at large.
Radio stations broadcast warnings to Parisians leave the streets and to stay home and urged residents to give refuge to anyone caught out in the street.
The deadliest attack was on the Bataclan, a popular concert venue where the Californian rock group Eagles of Death Metal was performing. The concert hall is only a few hundred meters in the prior offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, target of a fatal assault by Islamist gunmen in January.