|More than 100 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall Friday and many more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared a national state of emergency. — AFP/VNA Photo
PARIS — More than 100 people
were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall Friday and many
more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared
a national state of emergency.
Police said around 100 people were
killed at the Bataclan music venue in eastern Paris alone, with reports saying
armed attackers shot dead people attending a rock concert one by one before
police stormed the building.
One witness said an attacker had
earlier yelled "Allahu akbar" ("God is greatest") and fired
into the crowd at the concert given by US rock band Eagles of Death Metal.
It was one of a series of attacks at
seven locations across Paris in an unprecedented night of carnage in the French
capital that is still recovering from jihadist attacks in January.
The Bataclan lies just 200 metres
(yards) from the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine which was one of
the targets of those attacks.
It quickly became clear that
Friday's attacks would be much bloodier.
|Rescue workers evacuate an injured person near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 13, 2015. — AFP/VNA Photo
In addition to the carnage at the
concert hall, at least five people were also killed in three explosions near
the Stade de France national stadium in the north of the capital where France
were playing Germany in an international football match, security sources said.
One of the explosions was caused by
a suicide bomber, witnesses said.
|Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris.
President Francois Hollande was
attending the match and had to be hastily evacuated.
A Cambodian restaurant near the
concert hall was also attacked, with further deaths reported.
|INJURYAn injured man holds his head as people gather near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. At least 30 people were killed in attacks in Paris and a hostage situation was under way at a concert hall in the French capital, French media reported on Friday. — REUTERS/VNA Photo
"Terrorist attacks of an
unprecedented level are underway across the Paris region," Hollande said
in an emotional televised message.
"It's a horror," he said.
Hollande declared a state of
emergency across the entire country and cancelled his trip to the G20 summit
due to take place in Turkey at the weekend.
Concert hall horror
The focus of the attacks was the
Bataclan. Armed police eventually stormed the venue at around 2335 GMT,
accompanied by a series of explosions.
Police said around 100 were dead.
"I saw 20 to 25 bodies lying on
the floor and people were very badly injured, gunshot wounds," Julien
Pierce, a witness at the Bataclan, told Europe 1 radio.
"Some of them were dead. Some
of them were very badly wounded, but it was a bloodbath."
The military had been mobilised to
reinforce police and ensure no further attacks took place, he said.
Counter-terrorism prosecutors said
they had opened a preliminary investigation.
'They opened fire'
At the Stade de France, spectators
flooded the pitch as news of the attacks spread before organisers started an
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo,
called for residents to stay at home.
"We heard gunfire, 30 seconds
of fire, it was interminable, we thought it was fireworks," said Pierre
Montfort, who lives near rue Bichat, where the Cambodian restaurant is located.
"Everyone was on the floor, no
one moved," said another eyewitness who had been at the Petit Cambodge
"A girl was carried by a young
man in his arms. She appeared to be dead."
The toll "will be much
heavier" than the initial confirmed deaths, a security source said.
Camille, 25, said: "My sister
is in the Bataclan. I phoned her. She said they opened fire. And then she hung
|Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris. — AFP/VNA Photo
An AFP reporter outside the Bataclan
said before the police stormed the venue, hundreds of officers carrying
machine-guns were keeping guard and more than 20 police wagons with their
lights flashing were at the scene.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and
European Union chief Jean-Claude Juncker said they were "deeply
shocked" by the attacks.
France has been on high alert since
the attacks in January against Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket that left
Several other attacks have been
foiled through the year.
Security had begun to be stepped up
ahead of key UN climate talks to be held in just outside the French capital
from November 30, with border checks restored from Friday.
More than 500 French fighters are
thought to be with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, according to official
figures, while 250 have returned and some 750 expressed a desire to go there.