Saturday, November 14, 2015

IS messacre at Paris

IS messacre at Paris
Paris (France): At least 128 people were killed in a series of coordinated attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen in Paris at a concert hall, restaurants and the national sports stadium claimed by Islamic State jihadists on Saturday, 14th November 2015.

French President Francois Hollande blamed the Islamic extremist group for the bloodshed and called the coordinated assault last night at six different sites an "act of war".

Authorities identified the body of a French national known to the intelligence services near the Bataclan concert hall, where 82 people were killed by armed men who had shouted "Allahu akbar" ("God is greatest!") before gunning down concert-goers.

Police sources said he was probably one of those who stormed the building as around 1,500 people were watching a Californian rock band.

The discovery of a Syrian passport near the body of another of the assailants at the concert hall appeared to justify fears over the threat posed to Europe by extremism in the Middle East.

The attacks, which saw the first-ever suicide bombings on French soil, were "prepared, organised and planned overseas, with help from inside (France) which the investigation will establish," Hollande said.

Analysts at Eurasia Group said the attacks "confirm a structural shift in the modus operandi of the Islamic State, and represent a prelude to additional attacks in the West." 

The streets of the French capital were eerily quiet today, as authorities declared a state of national emergency following the worst attacks in Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

While many residents stayed inside out of fear, hundreds gathered spontaneously at blood donation centres while others flocked to place candles and flowers at the sites where people had died.

The attack on the Bataclan took place a short distance from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine that was attacked by jihadists in January.

Like those attacks, the massacre sparked an outpouring of emotion around the world, with London's Tower Bridge, Berlin's Brandenberg Gate and New York's World Trade Center all illuminated in the red, white and blue of the French tricolore.

Shocked survivors told how eight militants, all wearing suicide vests, stalked the city, indiscriminately gunning down people at bars and restaurants on a busy Friday night.

In the worst of the bloodshed, dozens of people were mown down at a sold-out show by American rock group Eagles of Death Metal. The gunmen then began executing hostages one by one, witnesses said.

"They didn't stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. Everyone was trying to flee," Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter who was at the concert, said.

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