In a series of terror attacks in Paris, gunfire and explosions across six locations, unprecedented in France, more than 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured. The gruesome attacks have led France to declare an emergency.
The incident has also led to French President Francois Hollande cancelling his visit to Turkey to attend the G20 summit. The gunmen massacred scores of diners and concert-goers and launched suicide attacks outside the national stadium on November 13. Around four gunmen wearing suicide vests and carrying AK-47s stormed into the Bataclan concert hall in east Paris. They fired calmly and methodically at hundreds of people.
Eight attackers were dead, according to the investigators, after seven of them blew themselves up. President Hollande who was attending an international football match between France and Germany had to be evacuated immediately. “Terrorist attacks of an unprecedented level are under way across the Paris region,” Mr Hollande said in an emotional televised message. “It’s a horror,” he added.
Witnesses recalled how the attackers forced people to lie on the floor and then sprayed them with bullets, shooting at anyone who tried to flee. An additional 1,500 soldiers were mobilised to reinforce police in Paris, Hollande’s office said. The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo urged residents to stay at home.
The latest terror incident is likely to impact travel across EU borders as the region continues to face a refugee crisis. The world leaders condemned the attacks. US President Barack Obama said it was ‘an attack on all of humanity’. New York lit the World Trade Centre in the red, white and blue of the French flag in solidarity with people of France. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also condemned the attacks and said she was deeply shocked. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “News from Paris is anguishing & dreadful. Prayers with families of the deceased. We are united with people of France in this tragic hour.”
The attacks come days before Paris gears up to host the UN global climate change summit where world leaders are expected to descend upon the French capital.