By Leigha Wentz,
International News Editor
Paris was plunged into a state of terror on the night of Friday, November 13 following six near-simultaneous attacks that have been declared by French President Francois Hollande as an “act of war” enacted by the Islamic State, as reported by the BBC.
The attacks occurred shortly after 11 pm Parisian time when a gunman began firing at Le Carillon bar in the rue Alibert before moving on to Le Petit Cambodge across the road, leaving at least 12 people dead. The BBC reports that customers at La Casa Nostra pizzeria were also shot at just as three explosions were heard outside of the Stade de France on the northern edges of Paris. 80,000 people, including President Hollande had been present in the stadium at the time of the explosions watching a match between France and Germany. Hollande was taken to safety immediately after the first blast and went on to call an emergency meeting at midnight.
The deadliest attack of the night occurred at the Bataclan concert hall. As reported by CNN, four gunmen opened fire on a concert given by Eagles of Death Metal, an American rock band, killing at least 80 people. The gunmen went on to take approximately 20 individuals hostage until French authorities stormed the building, causing three of the attackers to take their own lives before a fourth was shot dead by the police.
So far, French authorities have listed the number of dead at 129, according to USA Today, with 352 injured, including two Americans, in the deadliest attack on French soil since the end of World War II.
Authorities in both France and Belgium are continuing to investigate the attacks, with the Belgian justice minister reporting that several arrests were made in Brussels on Saturday in connection to the attacks.
French authorities have reportedly confirmed that one of those involved in the Bataclan attack was a French citizen. In addition, two passports, one Egyptian and one Syrian, were found near the bodies of the suicide bombers outside of the Stade de France.
A Greek minister confirmed that the Syrian passport belonged to a refugee who passed into France through the island of Leros.
President Hollande declared a nationwide state of emergency shortly after the attacks, closing French borders and raising the nation’s security level to its highest point.
He went on to issue a statement on French television, claiming that France had been “attacked in a cowardly, shameful and violent way.”
“So Franc will be merciless in its response to the Islamic State militants,” he added, as quoted by the BBC, promising that his country would use every means within the law to fight back against its attackers.
The Islamic State released a statement shortly after Hollande’s address claiming responsibility for the attacks, adding that they were made in response to France’s involvement in airstrikes against IS militants in the Middle East.
The BBC reports overwhelming support from world leaders in wake of the attack, with US President Barack Obama expressing outrage over the act of terrorism and British Prime Minister David Cameron pledging to offer any assistance possible.
According to the Guardian, Cameron added that the UK should prepare itself for British casualties.
Several individuals from Romania, Tunisia, Belgium and Sweden have already been confirmed dead as a result of the attacks.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 17th print edition.
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