Eng/Ger

Paris attacks: shootings and explosions leave scores dead

About 100 people taken hostage at Bataclan concert hall in apparently coordinated series of gun and bomb attacks in city centre and near Stade de France

At least 49 people have died and up to 60 people have been injured in an apparently coordinated series of gun and bomb attacks in Paris.

About 100 people have reportedly been taken hostage at a theatre after the French capital was hit by a series of attacks.

Declaring a state of emergency and closing the country’s borders, the French president, François Hollande, said there were “unprecedented terror attacks under way in Paris” and called an emergency cabinet meeting. Authorities in Paris warned people to leave public events and stay in doors if possible.

Officials said shots were fired in at least two restaurants and at least two explosions were heard near the Stade de France stadium, where the national side were playing Germany in a football match.

A police official told AP that two of the incidents near the stadium involved suicide attacks.

Live/ Paris attacks: France declares state of emergency after dozens killed – live

  • At least 40 people reported to have been killed and scores taken hostage in French capital

Around the same time, another shootout took place near the Bataclan concert theatre in the neighbouring 11th arrondissement, close to where the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper took place in January.

Hollande said later that security forces were mounting an operation in Paris, with reports saying police had stormed the concert hall. Witnesses said some of those inside the building could be seen fleeing.

The events brought immediate international condemnation, with the US president, Barack Obama, calling it “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share”.

French media reported at least 49 people confirmed dead, although some reports suggested there may be as many as 60. About 35 of the victims were reported to have been killed at the Bataclan concert hall, with French TV saying up to two gunmen began firing during a concert by the US rock band Eagles of Death Metal.

Citing French police, AFP reports that three people were also killed in an explosion outside the Stade de France. Crowds spilled into the field after the blasts were heard, and the PA announcer asked people to avoid certain exits.

The French TV station BFMTV said the gunmen who attacked the Bataclan had shouted “It’s for Syria” before opening fire.

Images taken by people living near the Bataclan showed bodies in the street, covered by sheets thrown down by local residents.

A witness called Anna, who lives near the Bataclan, said they heard firing and “threw ourselves on the ground”. In a shaky voice, she told BFMTV. “We saw people running and people with guns. I’ve heard there are 40 deaths. The whole area is sealed off. We don’t know what is happening here. Oh my god there’s a body there. This is horrible.”

Witnesses said a number of people had died when gunmen fired inside a restaurant in the 10th arrondissement of the city. A police official said 11 people had died there, with reports saying there were more deaths.

“I was on my way to my sister’s when I heard shots being fired. Then I saw three people dead on the ground. I know they were dead because they were being wrapped up in plastic bags,” student Fabien Baron told Reuters.

In the rue de Charonne, customers at the Carillon bar and restaurant heard an explosion around 9.20pm local time, and assumed it was a firecracker.

Witnesses said a man then appeared and fired a first salvo at the bar and a second at a Vietnamese restaurant, the Petit Cambodge opposite. The man was then reported to have entered Le Carillon and fired “lots of volleys”.

Hollande was attending the football game at the Stade de France when the attacks began. He rushed back to the interior ministry for crisis talks with the prime minister, Manuel Valls, and interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, and later called an emergency cabinet meeting.

The attacks follow the shootings by Islamist extremists at the office of Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris in January that left 20 people dead, among them three gunmen.

Obama said he did not want to speculate on who might have carried out the attacks, but said the US was ready to help “our oldest ally”.

“Those who think they can terrorise France or their values are wrong,” he said.

“Liberté, égalité and fraternité are values that we share, and they are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism.”

The British prime minister, David Cameron, said he was shocked by the events: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help.”

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said: “My thoughts are with the people of Paris tonight”

سمير يوسف

أول صحفى فى النمسا منذ سنة 1970 عمل فى الصحافة وعمره 18 سنة فى جريدة الجمهورية والمساء وحريتى ثم الجرائد الألمانية دير إشبيجل وفى النمسا جريدة الإخو تسليتومج لمدة عشرون عاما وفى سنة 1991 اصدر اول صحيفة باللغة العربية والألمانية وهى جريدة الوطن لمدة 11 سنة ، عمل مراسل جريدة الجمهورية والمساء فى النمسا لمدة 31 سنة.

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