Paris nightmare: 140 killed in bombings & shootings
KABUL (Pajhwok): On a night of multiple bombings and shootings, at least 140 people were killed and more than 200 wounded at six different sites in Paris, the capital of France, international media reported.
Billed as the deadliest attack on France since World War II, the coordinated assaults began with a series of explosions and shootings at Paris restaurants, a football stadium and a concert hall.
At the Bataclan theatre, where a sold-out concert was underway, at least 70 hostages were massacred. Gunshots continued inside the theatre in the wee hours of Saturday when Special Forces shot dead three of the attackers.
Three more assailants were killed in some of the hippest neighbourhoods in the 10th and 11th districts of the city, police said. The WRAP, a news site, quoted the shooters as saying inside the theatre: “This is for Syria, this is for Syria.”
President Francois Hollande said: “It’s an unprecedented terrorist attack … a horror.” He ordered security forces to seal France’s borders, pledging a “merciless battle against terrorists. They will be punished.”
Visibly shell-shocked and outraged, he told a news conference he had called a cabinet meeting to decide on declaring a state of emergency throughout of France. The borders would be closed to help arrest the terrorists.
The assaults triggered outpourings of condemnation across the world, with US President Barack Obama calling them heartbreaking. “This isn’t just an attack on France. … It’s an attack on all of humanity,” he said in a televised address from the White House.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned "the despicable terrorist attacks and demanded the immediate release of the numerous individuals reportedly being held hostage
British Prime Minister David Cameron was "deeply shocked" by the deadly attacks, offering his thoughts and prayers to the French. “We will do whatever we can to help,” Cameron tweeted.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared solidarity with France. "I was deeply shocked by the news and images that we have got from Paris. My thoughts are in these hours with the victims of the attacks, their families, and all people in Paris."
One of the explosions that took place near the sports stadium was said to be a suicide bombing. Watching the Germany-France soccer match, President Hollande was hastily evacuated from the stadium. Two more blasts followed in quick succession.
Police officials said 11 people were killed inside a Paris restaurant. At least three people died in blasts outside the stadium. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.
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