IS claims responsibility for Paris terror attacks

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:03 pm IST

Published - November 14, 2015 03:42 am IST - Paris

At least 200 people have been injured while 80 are seriously injured.

At least 200 people have been injured while 80 are seriously injured.

The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the series of attacks targeting young concert-goers, soccer fans and Parisians enjoying a Friday night out at popular nightspots killed at least 128 people in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II. French President Francois Hollande condemned it as terrorism and pledged that France would stand firm against its foes. The worst carnage was at a concert hall hosting an American rock band, where scores of people were held hostage and attackers ended the standoff by detonating explosive belts.

The Islamic State released an undated video on Saturday threatening to attack France if bombings of its fighters continue. Earlier, on Saturday, Mr. Hollande said the attacks were committed by Islamic State, planned and organised from abroad with help from inside France.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said as many as five attackers were killed, though it was not clear how many there were altogether and how many, if any, were still at large.

The attack unfolded with two suicide bombings and an explosion outside the national stadium during a soccer match between the French and German national teams. Within minutes, according to Paris police chief Michel Cadot, another group of attackers sprayed cafes outside the concert hall with machine gunfire, then stormed inside and opened fire on the panicked audience. As police closed in, they detonated explosive belts, killing themselves.

In addition to the deaths at the concert hall, dozens were killed in an attack on a restaurant in the 10th arrondissement and several other establishments crowded on a Friday night, police said. Authorities said at least three people died when the bombs went off outside the soccer stadium.

This offensive follows the >Charlie Hebdo terror attack where masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper.

Live updates (Time in IST)

9:45 p.m.: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the U.N. conference on fighting climate change will be held in Paris as planned, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

8.20 p.m.: A U.S. State Department spokesman confirmed that Americans are among the injured in the Paris terror attacks.

The department’s deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, said on Saturday that “the U.S. Embassy in Paris is working around the clock to assist American citizens affected by this tragedy.” He would not comment if any were killed.

7.25 p.m.: The governor of Bavaria says the arrest of a man in Germany last week may be linked to the Paris attacks.

6.17 p.m.: Romania’s Foreign Ministry says two of its citizens died and a third was injured in the attacks in Paris.

The Ministry statement said the Romanian embassy was in contact with the families of the two Romanians. No details were available about where they died or who they were.

The Ministry says the injured Romanian was treated at a hospital before being released.

6.15 p.m.: Two French police officials say a Syrian passport was found on the body of one of the suicide bombers who targeted France’s national soccer stadium.

5.40 p.m.: Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Saturday said the country was tightening border controls at airports, ports and along roads after Friday's attacks in Paris.

"We've already given orders to increase border controls, particularly with France," Mr. Alfano told reporters after a meeting of the national security council. The increased monitoring is being coordinated with French authorities to "prevent crossings that could damage the ongoing investigation," he said.

Italy's northwest region of Piedmont shares a border with France.

5.20 p.m.: A community leader from Paris’ working-class suburbs says he fears a “tsunami of hatred” may await Muslims and residents of poor neighborhoods following the deadly terror attacks.

Nadir Kahia of the Banlieue Plus community association says its members are shocked and feel a sense of solidarity “but we know ... some Muslims and poor neighbourhoods” will be subjected to hate speech.

Mr. Kahia also called on Saturday for unity of French people and efforts to calm tensions in a text message to The Associated Press .

5.15 p.m.: The Indian Embassy in Paris has issued a notice requesting Indian nationals in Paris to stay indoors.

4.59 p.m.: The Islamic State detailed its attacks on Paris in its statement: "...where eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles, targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France, including the Stade de France during the match between the Crusader German and French teams."

4.58 p.m.: Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called a meeting of Spain’s National Security Council to “analyze the situation in the wake of the Paris attacks.”

Mr. Rajoy says: “We aren’t facing a war of religions, but a battle between civilization and barbarism. They may hurt us, but they can’t beat us.”

Speaking on Saturday during a special television appearance, Mr. Rajoy says Spain was on high alert and its forces had in the past few weeks stopped several terror attacks.

4.57 p.m.: Nordic governments have condemned the Paris attacks while ordinary citizens laid flowers and lit outside the French embassies across the region.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom talked about “horrible news” while her Danish counterpart Kristian Jensen said “terrorists must be defeated. They cannot break democracies that stand together.” Finland’s Prime MinisterJuha Sipila says “we must not give space for fear and intolerance.”

After laying flowers outside the French Embassy Saturday, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said “the perpetrators must be pursued and defeated. We will never give up.” Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf says “it is important that we stand together against this unimaginable terrorism.”

Denmark’s government ordered flags on official buildings lowered to half-mast on Saturday as a sign of solidarity.

4.55 p.m.: The German government has ordered flags on official buildings lowered to half-mast on Saturday as a sign of solidarity and sorrow over the attacks in Paris.

Flowers, candles and messages of condolence have meanwhile been placed outside the French embassy in Berlin. A vigil was planned there early Saturday afternoon.

4.41 p.m.: Terror attacks in Paris are an attack on humanity, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

4.40 p.m.: The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for Paris attacks in statement posted online.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel writes in the book of condolences in front of other cabinet members at the French embassy in Berlin. Photo: Reuters

In an official statement the group said its fighters strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns carried out the attacks in various locations in the heart of the capital which were carefully studied.

The Islamic State said on Saturday that attacks it carried out in Paris were a response to France's campaign against its fighters and insults against Islam's prophet.

In a statement, the group also warned that France would remain one of its top targets as long as it continued with its policies.

4 p.m.: There is no justification for international powers not to do much more to fight Islamic State and groups like it, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

"There is no justification for terrorist acts and no justification for us not (to do) much more to defeat ISIS, al-Nusrah and the like," Lavrov told reporters ahead of a meeting with his U.S. counterpart John Kerry and U.N. special envoy Steffan de Mistura.

3.53 p.m.: As a nation that has suffered from terror attacks, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey shares the pain felt by France.

Mr. Erdogan, who is scheduled to host G-20 leaders at a summit meeting on Sunday, said the attacks were aimed at the two countries’ “peace and security,” and he called for unity against all terror groups.

3.52 p.m.: Syrian President Bashar al Assad condemned Friday's attacks in Paris and said that such acts of terror were similar to what his people had faced in years of violent civil war.

"What France suffered from savage terror is what the Syrian people have been enduring for over five years," the Syrian President was quoted as saying on state media and Lebanese TV station al Mayadeen.

3.50 p.m.: A resident near Paris’ Bataclan concert hall spoke of their shock and disbelief over the gun attack on Friday night that left around 80 revelers dead.

Entrepreneur Gabriel Delattre, 31, was arriving home on a bike when he bumped into a nightmarish scene — a man whose shirt was “black with blood” wandering by the side of another man with a large bullet hole in his cheek.

“He was staring at me,” Mr. Delattre said. “He was confused and mumbling and didn’t know what he was doing. He just kept saying, ‘We were attacked, we got down on the floor, and we managed to get out. But the others stayed trapped.’”

3.50 p.m.: British Prime Minister David Cameron will be convening his government’s security committee to weigh its response to the terror attacks in France.

Mr. Cameron has pledged to do “whatever we can to help” following the attacks.

The Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the security committee Saturday and consider whether to raise the national threat level from “severe,” the second-highest rung on a five-point scale. The current “severe’ level means intelligence officials believe an attack is highly likely.

Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the national police lead for counter-terrorism, called for “vigilance” from the general public. He says the police are liaising with their counterparts in France.

3.45 p.m.: Watch: >Emergency declared in Paris .

3.42 p.m.: Foreign Ministers from more than a dozen nations have begun meeting in Vienna to try to find a way to resolve the conflict in Syria. >Read more

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko kneels near the French embassy as he commemorates victims of attacks in Paris, in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo: Reuters

3.40 p.m.: Mr. Hollande declares three days of national mourning, putting security on the highest level.

3.35 p.m.: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei says China is “deeply shocked” by the attacks and pledged solidarity with France in combating terrorism.

“Terrorism is a common challenge facing humanity. China resolutely supports France in maintaining its national security and stability and in attacking terrorism,” Mr. Hong said.

3.34 p.m.: Jordan's King Abdullah II “expressed strong condemnation and indignation at the cowardly terrorist act,” and solidarity with the French people, in a statement published by state news agency Petra .

3.32 p.m.: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull extended Australia’s deep sympathy to the people of France.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this terrible time,” Mr. Turnbull said in a statement from Berlin. “But our solidarity is with them too. When the French people left the stadium after that shocking attack, they were not cowed. They sang their national anthem proudly and that is how all free people should respond to these assaults.”

“In France, and Australia, all around the world, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of France and with all free peoples in the battle against terrorism,” Mr. Turnbull added.

The Australian government said a 19-year-old Australian woman had been injured in the attacks.

3.30 p.m.: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a tweet to French President Francois Hollande: “I sympathize with you and your people; Afghanistan stands with France with resolve to tackle terrorism as a common enemy.”

A statement from Mr. Ghani’s office quoted him as saying: “The brutal attacks in Paris prove that global terrorism does not recognise borders.”

“Afghan people have for many years been the victims of terrorist attacks. They feel the pain of Parisians, and share the grief of the victims’ families,” Mr. Ghani said. “The people of Afghanistan stand with France on this terrible day. Terrorism is a serious threat to the entire world and we are united in the struggle.”

3.27 p.m.: Pakistan said it “strongly” condemns the Paris attacks and “reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

“The people and Government of Pakistan wish to convey their heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to the bereaved families and the people and Government of France. We stand with them in their hour of grief. We pray for speedy recovery of the injured,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

3.25 p.m.: French President Francois Hollande says the attacks were committed by Islamic State, planned and organised from abroad with help from inside France.

The landmark CN Tower is lit blue, white and red in the colors of the French flag following the attacks, in Toronto. Photo: Reuters

3.15 p.m.: German media report that a 51-year-old man arrested last week after firearms were discovered in his car has been linked to the Paris attacks.

Public broadcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk reported Saturday that German authorities informed French officials about the arrest of the man near the German-Austrian border on November 5. It didn’t provide a source for its information.

Bavarian state police spokesman Ludwig Waldinger confirmed that firearms, explosives and hand grenades had been found.

Mr. Waldinger told The Associated Press that “we are providing no further information at this point.”

3 p.m.: Friday's deadly attacks in Paris show it is more necessary than ever to coordinate the fight against terrorism, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Saturday before international talks aimed at finding a political solution to the war in Syria.

"One of the objectives of the Vienna meeting is to see concretely how we can strengthen the international fight against Daesh," Mr. Fabius told reporters in Vienna, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State militant group.

2.55 p.m.: Islamic State released an undated video on Saturday threatening to attack France if bombings of its fighters continue.

The group's foreign media arm, Al-Hayat Media Centre, made the threat through a militant who called on French Muslims to carry out attacks.

"As long as you keep bombing you will not live in peace. You will even fear traveling to the market," said the bearded Arabic-speaking militant, flanked by other fighters.

2.50 p.m.: In a telegram to French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the attacks were “the latest testimonial to the barbaric essence of terrorism which throws down a challenge to human civilisation.”

“It’s obvious that an effective fight against this evil demands a real unity of the forces of the international community. I would like to confirm the readiness of Russia for the closest cooperation with our French partners in investigating the crime that took place in Paris.”

“In this difficult time for France, I ask you to pass along words of sincere sympathy and support to the relatives and those near to those who were killed and wishes for a fast recovery to all those who were hurt at the hands of extremists.”

2.10 p.m.: Disneyland Paris is closed to the public in a highly unusual move because of a string of attacks. The theme park east of Paris, one of Europe’s leading tourist attractions, said in a statement that it decided not to open Saturday “in light of the recent tragic events in France and in support of our community and the victims of these horrendous attacks.” Some 14 million people visited Disneyland Paris last year.

1.55 p.m.: No Indian is among the victims of the horrific terror attacks in France, in which at least 120 people were killed and hundreds others injured, as per initial reports, Indian Deputy Chief of Mission here said.

The mission was in touch with External Affairs Ministry and keeping it updated about the developments, Manish Prabhat told PTI.

1.50 p.m.: “Paris never changed. Paris has a timeless character. But as you can understand, an attack of such a magnitude will definitely change the city. We are still under shock and trying to come to terms with the aftermath of this massive attack,” said Naina Bois-Juzen, a French citizen in Delhi. >Read more

1:44 p.m.: Russian Foreign Ministry said that the attacks will impact agenda of Syria meetings in Vienna.

1.40 p.m.: Some 1,500 extra soldiers have been mobilized to guard French facilities and schools and universities are closed. Soldiers were deployed at key sites around Paris, including Parliament buildings and religious sites. The government has also reimposed border controls that were abandoned as part of Europe’s free—travel zone. Border and customs officers will check people, baggage and vehicles entering and leaving France by road, train, sea or plane, said customs official Melanie Lacuire.

1.30 p.m.: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, “Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with French President Francois Hollande and with the people of France in our common battle against terrorism.”

1:25 p.m.: All members of a California-based band that was to perform at Bataclan are safe and have been accounted for, a U.S. official briefed by the Justice Department said. The band Eagles of Death Metal was supposed to perform at the Bataclan, a theatre located in eastern Paris near the trendy Oberkampf area. People inside were taken hostage.

1:15 p.m.: Germany has offered France the help of its special anti-terror unit in the wake of the Paris attacks. Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas des Maiziere said in a statement that he is in touch with his French counterpart “and I have offered him the help of German special forces.”

Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said de Maiziere had offered “all support, including special forces such as the GSG9.”

The GSG9 anti-terror unit was created after the attacks on the Munich Olympics in 1972 and saw its first major operation during the hijacking of a Lufthansa plane by a Palestinian group

1:00 p.m.: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has condemned the Paris attacks and is conveying condolences to the victims.

A statement from his office on Saturday called for “concerted international efforts” to combat “the scourge of terrorism, which aims to destabilize security and stability in various parts of the world, without distinction.”

12:45 p.m.: “We hope all Indians are safe,” Indian ambassador Mohan Kumar said.

“Our prayers (are) with families affected and solidarity with France,” Mohan Kumar tweeted.

12: 30 p.m.: Sylvain, a 38-year-old concert-goer, collapsed in tears as he recounted the attack, and his escape during a lull in gunfire.

“I was watching the concert in the pit, in the midst of the mass of the audience. First I heard explosions, and I thought it was firecrackers. Very soon I smelled powder, and I understood what was happening. There were shots everywhere, in waves. I lay down on the floor. I saw at least two shooters, but I heard others talk. They cried, ‘It’s Hollande’s fault.’ I heard one of the shooters shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’” he said.

12:15 p.m.: French police are hunting possible accomplices of the eight assailants. The perpetrators remained a mystery their nationalities, their motives, even their exact number.

12:05 p.m.: The Vatican has condemned “in the most radical way” the terror attacks in Paris. The Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement early Saturday that the violence was “an attack on peace for all humanity.” Lombardi said the Vatican was praying for the victims and the wounded, “and for all the French people.”

11:50 a.m.:The Guardian reported: President François Hollande, who was at the Stade de France at the time of the assaults, said,

We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless. Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow.

11:45 a.m.: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani cancelled his visit to Italy and France, Iran's foreign minister was quoted as saying by the state news agency, IRNA.

"Due to the terrorist incidents in Paris and in coordination with the hosts, the Iranian president postponed his visit to Italy, Vatican and France to a more convenient time," Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told state television, according to IRNA. Rouhani condemned the Paris attacks as an "inhumane crime" in a statement carried by IRNA.

11:40 a.m.: There are no reports of any Sri Lankans affected in the attacks, according to the Sri Lankan government.

Any Sri Lankan in Paris requiring assistance should contact Col. Nazeer Majeed at Tel: +33620505232 or Deputy Chief of Mission Shobini Gunasekera at Tel: +33677048117.

11:32 a.m.: The death toll of the deadly attacks is at least 120 while the number injured has reached 200 with 80 being seriously injured.

11:30 a.m.: Fox 2000 Pictures has scrapped the November 15 Paris premiere of filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s Cold War-era drama-thriller Bridge of Spies in the wake of Friday’s devastating terrorist attacks that left over 120 people dead. The director-producer was on his way from Berlin to Paris for the screening when the tragedy struck, said The Hollywood Reporter . >Read more...

11:15 a.m.: The multiple attacks that unfolded in Paris during the late Friday evening were all in the vicinity of the Indian embassy in Paris, said Manish Prabhat, Deputy Chief of the embassy, to The Hindu . >Read more...

11:00 a.m.: News coming in of emergency security meet at French mission in New Delhi in wake of Paris Attacks

10:45 a.m.: Turkey, which hosts a G20 summit of world leaders this weekend, condemned attacks by gunmen and bombers in Paris as a crime against humanity and said it stood in full cooperation with France and its allies in the fight against terrorism. "These attacks are not only against the French people but all humanity, democracy, freedoms and universal values. Terror has no religion, no nationality and represents no values. Terrorism is a crime against humanity," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office said in a statement.

10:25 a.m.: The Paris hospital service says medical personnel are reporting for work of their own accord to help treat the injured in the multiple attacks in the city, and that others were being called in as part of a plan to deal with emergencies.

Among those called in minutes after the first reports went out was Patrick Pelloux, an emergency room doctor and former writer for Charlie Hebdo. Pelloux was also among the first to see the aftermath of the Jan. 7 attacks.

10:15 a.m.: U.S. President Barack Obama has spoken by phone to French President Francois Hollande to offer the condolences of the American people for the attacks in Paris.

10:00 a.m.: As per the latest update from the Prosecutor’s office: 8 extremists dead after Paris attacks, 7 of them in suicide bombings.

9:50 a.m.: >Here’s a look at some of the targets of the attacks that included a stadium, a concert hall, cafes and bars

9:40 a.m.: French newspaper Le Monde reports:

  • 450 firefighters from the Paris fire brigade of Paris, plus a further 280 from outer surburbs.
  • 46 crews (about 150 people) from the outer suburbs to support highway safety.
  • 1,500 soldiers deployed as reinforcements.

9:35 a.m.: A total of eight militants were killed, including seven by their suicide belts, during today’s attacks in Paris that left at least 120 dead, French media quoting investigation sources said.

9:30 a.m.: Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told AP he was not aware of any chatter pointing to the Paris attacks ahead of time. Schiff says it is unclear who was responsible for the attacks, but says the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda are “distinct possibilities” with the Islamic State more likely.

9:25 a.m.: France has been on edge since January, when Islamic extremists attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had run cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. Twenty people died, including the three attackers. The Charlie Hebdo attackers claimed links to extremists in Yemen, while the kosher market attacker claimed ties to the Islamic State group.

9:21 a.m.: France has heightened security measures ahead of a major global climate conference that starts in two weeks. Hollande canceled a planned trip to this weekend’s G-20 summit in Turkey , which was to focus in large part on growing fears of terrorism carried out by Islamic extremists.

9:20 a.m.: There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, although jihadists on Twitter immediately praised them and criticized France’s military operations against Islamic State extremists.

All the forces in Syria are fighting to stop the advance of the Islamic State. But is it as simple as it seems? > Read more

9:15 a.m.: As news of bloodshed filtered through the crowd and police sirens wailed outside, thousands of soccer fans milled around the Stade de France, reluctant to leave the seemingly safe stadium. >Read more....

9:00 a.m.: U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is calling the attacks in Paris “an assault on our common human dignity.” The Pentagon chief says “the United States stands with the people of France and its vibrant, multicultural democracy.”

8:45 a.m.: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was too soon to say whether the deadly attacks in Paris would prompt him to reconsider his pledge to withdraw Canada from airstrikes against Islamic State militants in the Middle East.

8:35 a.m.: French police say they believe all Paris attackers are dead, but search for accomplices continues.

8:33 a.m.: Music band U2 has postponed its Saturday night concert in Paris in the light of the deadly attacks. Instead, the band says in a statement that it is resolved to go ahead with the concert “at an appropriate time.” U2 members say they watched in shock and disbelief at the unfolding events and were devastated by the loss of life at the concert held by Eagles of Death Metal, one of several sites in the city that was violently attacked. U2 members say- “We hope and pray that all of our fans in Paris are safe.”

8:30 a.m.: World leaders condemned the attacks and offered support. >Read more

8:15 a.m.: Head of Paris police says all attackers are believed to be dead.

8:10 a.m.: Hollande was attending an international soccer match with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier when several explosions took place outside the national stadium.

8:02 a.m.: The Paris Police Prefecture said the attackers at the Bataclan rock venue blew themselves up with suicide belts as police closed in, killing four people. He said the gunmen first sprayed cafes outside the venue with machine gunfire, then went inside the concert hall and killed more before the assault by security forces.

The prefect, Michel Cadot, said the one set of attackers was at the stadium and at nearly the same time the second group attacked within the city. Cadot said all the attackers are believed dead, although authorites are hunting for any possible accomplices.

Photo: Reuters

8:00 a.m.: Death toll may cross 140, news agencies report

7:52 a.m.: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York is constantly on alert for coordinated terror attacks, especially in the wake of an attack in Paris that has killed dozens.

7:50 a.m.: Facebook launched a check-in feature to let people know that friends in Paris were safe after a series of bombings and shootings in the French capital killed at least 120 people. The “Paris Terror Attacks” safety check let people signal whether they were out of harm’s way, then notified all those they know at the leading social network.

7:45 a.m.: Attacks in Paris that killed more than 100 people violate all human and moral values, Qatar's foreign minister said in a statement.

"The state of Qatar, through its foreign minister, strongly condemns these heinous attacks that have struck the French capital causing so many victims," Khaled al-Attiyah said in a statement sent to Reuters by the embassy in Paris.

"These acts, which target stability and security in France are against all human and moral values," he added.

7:30 a.m.: Air France says it will maintain all flights to and from France and that it expects delay.

7:15 a.m.: Five of the assailants have been killed, Paris Public Prosecutor Francois Molins said on television.

7.00 a.m.: WTC to be lit to honor victims of Paris attacks

Andrew Cuomo says the One World Trade Center spire will be lit blue, white and red in honor of dozens killed in the Paris attacks. Mr. Cuomo says the 125-metre spire will be illuminated Friday night and in the days to come. The governor says the act shows New York will stand with the people of France.

6:30 a.m.: Paris Public Prosecutor says death toll could reach 120

The death toll from several attacks across Paris on Friday could reach over 120, and at least five of the assailants have been killed, Paris Public Prosecutor Francois Molins said on television

6:15 a.m.: World leaders express shock

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is “deeply shaken by the news and pictures that are reaching us from Paris.” The German leader issued a statement saying her thoughts were with the victims “of the apparent terrorist attack.”

The Secretary-General of the NATO alliance says he is “deeply shocked by horrific Paris attacks.”

Jens Stoltenberg said in a Twitter message that “We stand together with the people of France. Terrorism will never defeat democracy.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is condemning “the despicable terrorist attacks” in Paris and is demanding the immediate release of numerous hostages being held in the Bataclan theater.

5:38 a.m.: The telephone extension for the Indian Embassy in Paris is 0140507070 is now open

5:35 a.m.: Security forces launch assault

Three police officials confirm that security forces have launched an assault on the Paris concert hall where hostages have been taken.

None of the officials could be named when discussing the ongoing operation, which several officials said involved dozens of hostages.

The Paris police prefecture told resident to remain home and avoid going out unless absolutely necessary.

Photo: Reuters

5:33 a.m.: Shocked, says Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron says he is “shocked” by the Paris attacks and violence.

Cameron said on Twitter “Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help.”

5:26 a.m.: Borders closed

French President Francois Hollande says he is closing the country’s borders and declaring a state of emergency after several dozen people were killed in a series of unprecedented terrorist attacks. “It’s a horror,” he said.

5:12 a.m.: Gunfire heard from outside Paris concert hall

Automatic gunfire and blasts have rung out from the area of a Paris music hall where police say people are being held hostage.

Scores of police are surrounding the Bataclan concert hall, and sirens are wailing throughout the neighborhood.

The gunfire began soon after French President Francois Hollande said security forces were launching an assault on one of several sites targeted in attacks Friday night around Paris.

5:03 a.m.: Obama condemns attack

U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters in Washington, called the attacks on Paris “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and vowed to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

4:50 a.m.: Announcement saves many

A stadium announcer made an announcement over the loudspeaker after the match, telling fans to avoid certain exits “due to events outside,” without elaborating.

At first that prompted some panic, but then the crowds just walked dazed, hugging each other and looking at their phones for the latest news of the violence.

Many appeared hesitant to leave amid the uncertainty after France’s deadliest attacks in decades.

Photo: Reuters

4:25 a.m.: IS hand suspected

Although no one has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, some terrorism experts say the Islamic State group is likely responsible.

Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert and senior adviser to the president of RAND Corp., said the extremist group is clearly the name at the top of everyone’s list.” He said this was because the tactic used “multiple attackers in coordinated attacks at multiple locations” echoed recommendations published in extremist group’s online magazine,

James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA in 1993-195 and now chancellor at the Institute of World Politics, also told the BBC he suspected the Islamic State because the coordinated nature of the attacks required government-style planning.

4:23 a.m.: Over 100 hostages

A Paris police official said there were at least 100 hostages in a Paris theater following shooting and explosions at two cites in the city.

Multiple officials, including one medical official, put the number of dead at between 35 to 40 people.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named according to police policy.

4:19 a.m.: Hollande holds emergency talks

An official in Francois Hollande’s office told The Associated Press that the French president is meeting with top security officials in the Interior Ministry.

The official gave no other details.

3:42 a.m.: Explosion outside football stadium

Also late yesterday, two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium north of Paris during a France—Germany friendly football match.

A police official confirmed one explosion in a bar near the stadium. It was not known if there were casualties

An Associated Press reporter in the stadium last night heard two explosions loud enough to penetrate the sounds of cheering fans. Sirens were immediately heard, and a helicopter was circling overhead.

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