Paris was left devastated last night, and the world appalled, by a coordinated and pitiless terrorist attack on France’s Capital.
Gunmen and suicide bombers simultaneously attacked the Bataclan Concert Venue, La Casa Nostra Restaurant, La Carillon Bar, La Petite Cambodge Restaurant, Le Belle Equipe and the Stade de France. The latest toll placing the death at 129, with 200 people left injured, 80 critically.
French President, Francois Hollande — clearly a target — was attending the Stade de France with 80,000 others, watching a friendly soccer game between France and Germany when two explosions were heard outside.
President Hollande, after an emergency cabinet meeting, declared a State of Emergency, limiting the movement of citizens, grounding flights and deploying 1500 Soldiers into the Capital. In an early morning address he said:
“As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is a horror…. What the terrorists want is to scare us and fill us with dread. There is indeed reason to be afraid. There is dread, but in the face of this dread, there is a nation that knows how to defend itself, that knows how to mobilize its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists.”
Gunmen first attacked the Bataclan Concert Venue, reportedly killing 100 people in gunfire during a performance of the Eagle of Death Metal band. An eyewitness said, “They didn’t stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee.”
Following this, three popular central restaurants, a pizza parlour and a bar were attacked by gunmen with AK-47s.
French Police are reporting that all 8 attackers are dead. Seven killed themselves with explosive vests and one was shot by security forces.
This is the worst attack since the 2004 Madrid Bombings and it comes less than a year after the tragic terrorist attack that left twelve dead and eleven injured at the Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters.
It is unclear at this time who is responsible, nor has their been any proven link with Syria or ISIS. However an eyewitness claims to have heard one of the gunmen say, “It’s the fault of Hollande, it’s the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria.” Reuters is now reporting that the ISIS propaganda wing, ‘the Al-Hayat Media Centre,’ called on French Muslims to carry out the attacks.
For now our thoughts and sympathies go out to the families left behind, and we stand with the French Authorities and world leaders as they begin to seek answers to what is behind these terrible crimes.
The World Responds
US President, Barack Obama: “Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.
We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and the people of France need to respond. France is our oldest ally. The French people have stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States time and again. And we want to be very clear that we stand together with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism.”
UK Prime Minister, David Cameron: “I am shocked by events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “These terrorist attacks are deeply worrying and obviously unsettling to people around the world,” Trudeau said before leaving for the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey.
“We will keep people apprised as more unfolds but I have been speaking with our national security team to ensure that everything is being done to keep people safe.”
The Vatican Press office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi: “We are shocked by this new manifestation of maddening, terrorist violence and hatred which we condemn in the most radical way together with the Pope and all those who love peace.
We pray for the victims and the wounded, and for all the French people. This is an attack on peace for all humanity, and it requires a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread the homicidal hatred in all of its forms.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with French President Francois Hollande and with the people of France in our common battle against terrorism.”