Eight assailants—a mix of gunmen and suicide bombers – killed more than 120 people and wounded over 200 in attacks at seven popular Parisian recreational spots overnight Friday.
President Francois Hollande immediately vowed France will be ruthless in its response.
Targets included the Bataclan concert hall and eateries around the Stade de France sports stadium where a France-Germany football match was underway.
Police forces and forensic experts gather near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015.
Also hit was a restaurant in a vibey Parisian suburb near Republique square, not far from the erstwhile offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine where 12 people were mowed down in January.
Witnesses described how gunmen in black started shooting and after wounded people fell to the floor, they were shot again, execution-style.
Security forces later stormed the building, killing four attackers – including three who were wearing explosives belts, Paris police spokesman Michel Cadot told France Info radio.
The events of Friday were exactly the kind of multi-pronged attack authorities had been dreading.
So far this year they have been fortunate: more than one potential bloodbath was prevented by the offender’s own ineptitude.
In April, Algerian IT student Sid Ahmed Ghlam was arrested after he shot himself in the leg by accident, leading police to uncover a plot to attack a church in Paris’ Villejuif suburb.
And in August, two off-duty servicemen and a friend overpowered a gunman who opened fire on passengers on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris.
But the authorities’ luck was bound to run out as radicalised Muslims return from war-zones battle-hardened and well-trained, said the experts.
Speaking at the site of the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris – the site of the most severe attack, Hollande said: “France will not let itself be overwhelmed or frightened even if today we are overcome with sadness and emotion.”
Describing the carnage as an “abomination,” he said the attackers – who are yet to be identified – were intent on killing as many people as possible. — AFP & CNN
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