National Security

France Closes Borders After Terror Erupts in Paris

At least 127 dead in hostage crisis, shootings, bombings

The aftermath of the attacks at the Paris football stadium / AP

French President François Hollande declared a state of emergency and closed the country’s borders Friday after multiple attacks occurred in Paris, according to French media.

Hollande said that 127 or more people had been killed, the Associated Press reported early Saturday, declaring a three-day state of national mourning and placing security at the highest level in the country.

The Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL or ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to a statement circulated by the group online. Hollande has also blamed IS for the attacks. In remarks to the country, he stated that France, which is already launching airstrikes against IS in Iraq and Syria along with the U.S.-led coalition, "will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group."

Attacks reportedly took place at six locations. At least 100 people were killed in the deadliest attack at the Bataclan, a concert hall in central Paris.

The first incident occurred when a gunman opened fire with an automatic gun at the Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris. French newspaper Liberation first reported the attack.

Multiple explosions also occurred near France’s national stadium, the Stade de France. A French police official confirmed that two of the explosions were suicide attacks and one was a bombing. The explosions resulted in at least three deaths.

The explosions were heard while a friendly soccer match between France and Germany was taking place at the stadium. Hollande was evacuated from the stadium after the blasts occurred, according to the Associated Press.

There was also a hostage crisis at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris when the venue was hosting an Eagles of Death Metal show. French police stormed the concert hall to rescue the hostages, but at least 100 were left dead inside.

Police believe that all attackers involved in the shootings and bombings have been killed, but they are still searching for accomplices. They said that eight attackers were killed.

 

The attackers at the theater fired at cafes outside the venue before entering it, according to French police.

France 24 reported that another shooting occurred at La Belle Equipe restaurant on the rue de Charonne. Witnesses heard upwards of 30 shots, and about 10 people were seen on the ground either dead or injured.

Another shooting was also reported at the Les Halles shopping mall, a major shopping center in Paris, according to Reuters.

France 24 was tracking seven different locations of reported attacks, including: Rue Bichat, 10th Arr; Rue Charrone, 10th/11th; Les Halles, 1st Arr, in the heart of Paris; Stade de France; and the Bataclan.

French police also enforced a curfew Friday night.

Approximately 1,500 soldiers have been deployed to protect facilities around Paris.

Hollande visited the Bataclan early Saturday.

"For all those who’ve seen these atrocities, rest assured–we want to say that we will bring the fight against terrorism and will be without pity because when terrorists are capable of such atrocities, it will certainly be faced with a determined France, a united France," the French president said there.

This post will be updated as further information becomes available.