According to theatlantic.com
President Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency across France and closed the country’s borders after a series of attacks across seven sites in central Paris killed dozens of people Friday evening.
The event is still unfolding and the death toll is changing quickly with numbers as high as 40 being reported. At least three locations were targeted: a restaurant in the 11th arrondissement, near a soccer stadium, and at a concert venue, which reports say has been raided by French police. There are also unconfirmed reports of an attack on Les Halles, one of the city’s busiest areas.
“A terrible, terrible event is upon us,” Hollande said in a short statement to reporters.
The BBC and others have reported that at least one gunman “opened fire at the Cambodge restaurant” in the 11th arrondissement. A BBC reporter on the scene relayed that he or she could “see 10 people on the road either dead or seriously injured.”
The AP is adding that two explosions were heard from the Stade de France, the country’s national stadium, where France was hosting Germany in a soccer match. A clip on Vine shows the moment where the explosion sounds during the match.
According to L’Express, Hollande was in attendance, but has since been moved to safety.
The sounds of several exchanges of gunfire and what might have been an explosion were captured on a video on Periscope near the Bataclan club in Paris. Police were also heard directing people to flee the scene.
Agence France-Presse and others are now reporting that there is a hostage situation unfolding there.
ABC News adds that 60 hostages are believed to be held in what is being described as “an ongoing situation.” The Guardian is reporting that a witness on live radio in France claims “he heard the assailants [at the Bataclan] were screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ while shooting inside the crowd.” If true, this would be the first indication that the attacks were perpetrated by Muslim terrorists.
If it’s shown that the attacks are coordinated, it would be the worst violence in Paris since World War II. So far, there have no reports that any attackers have been apprehended. It’s unclear who is behind Friday’s attacks, but they come 10 months after two Islamist gunmen killed 11 people at the offices of the Paris-based Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine. Several attacks around Paris that followed that massacre killed an additional five people.
News reports indicate that U.S. officials believed the attacks were coordinated.
In Washington, D.C., President Obama called the unfolding situation in France “a heartbreaking situation” and added: “Those who think they can terrorize the people of France and the values they stand for are wrong.” The president said that he offered full support to France and expected to be in close coordination soon.
This story is still developing.