March 21, 2018

PARIS TERROR ATTACK: 129 killed across Paris in ‘ACT OF WAR’ as ISIS claims responsibility

At least 129 people have been killed in PARIS TERROR ATTACK

AT LEAST 129 people have been killed and 99 left critically injured during a series of horrifying terror attacks carried out by Islamic State (ISIS) fighters across Paris.

French President Francois Hollande said this morning that the deadly attacks were carried out by ISIS in an “act of war”, while police revealed a Syrian passport had been found on one of the attackers close to a football stadium in the north of the city.

Some 129 people have been killed and 352 people injured, the French prosecutor confirmed in a press conference this evening.

At least one Briton died in the Paris terror attacks and Downing Street warned there would be “a number of” British casualties.

None of the terrorists have been named but one was said to be just 15-years-old.

The teenager was thought to have targeted the Stade de France, near to where two suicide bombers blew themselves up .

Another, who attacked at the Bataclan concert hall, has been formally identified as a 30-year-old French national with Islamic links and was known to French authorities.

He has been arrested for eight minor offences in France and has been on a radicalisation watch list since 2010 – but has never been implicated in any terrorist activities.

He was born in Courcouronnes, a suburb in southern Paris.

One of the Stade de France suicide bombers has been confirmed as Syrian aged 25 but was not known to French authorities. A Syrian passport belonging to a refugee was found earlier on one of the suicide bomber’s bodies.

Three groups of terrorists were behind the attacks – one at the Stade de France and two others at the five other locations.

Two black cars – a Seat and Polo – were involved in the attacks had Belgian number plates, according to witnesses.

A Frenchmen was stopped at the Belgian border this morning, while two people from Brussels were also arrested.

News of the suspects comes as it was revealed a British man was among those who died.

Nick Alexander, who was at the theatre at the time of the attack, was confirmed dead today.

Anti-Muslim protests have sprung in parts of France in response to the killings, as tensions in the country heighten.

Mr Hollande said the co-ordinated shootings and bombings were planned and organised by terrorists abroad but with help from sleeper cells inside France, and vowed a “merciless” fight to defeat those responsible.

As Mr Hollande made a televised French address, he said the Paris terror attacks were “an act of war that was prepared, organised, planned from abroad with internal help”.

He added that France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group”.

A Syrian passport found on an attacker’s body belonged to a refugee who passed through Greece, according to a Greek minister.

A man is also said to have been arrested in Moleenbeek in Belgium. Three of the terrorists came from Brussels, according to French media.

ISIS have claimed in an online statement that it was behind the attacks.

The depraved terror group said the assault was in response to insults of the Prophet Muhammad and airstrikes on Syria and Iraq.

The statement, which has not been independently verified, was made in French and Arabic and added that France would remain a top target as long as it continued its bombing of targets in the Middle East.

Those dead include more than a hundred people who had been held hostage in the Bataclan Theatre in the French capital.

They were slaughtered inside the building before police closed in on the gunmen.

Seven of the terrorists, who had earlier sprayed gunfire on cafes before entering the venue, then blew themselves up with suicide belts.

An eighth gunman was shot dead by police.

Police are continuing to search for a black Seat car with foreign registration plates and alloy wheels which they believe may have been used in the attacks.

As many as 18 people died when the terrace of the Rue de Charonne was sprayed with gunfire, while around 14 people were killed when Le Carillon bar-cafe, and the nearby Cambodian restaurant Le Petit Cambodge, were also shot at.

Security has been stepped up and border control checks re-imposed after the attacks, which Mr Hollande described as an “abomination”.

It is understood to be the deadliest night of violence in Paris since the Second World War, and the worst terror attack in Europe since the Madrid bombings in 2004.

Parisians have been asked to donate blood as hospital across the city rush to treat victims in critical condition.

Demonstrations in public places have been postponed to ensure public safety, while the city remains under lockdown.

The Queen has sent a message to the French President saying she and the Duke of Edinburgh were “deeply shocked and saddened” by the brutal and bloody terrorist attacks in Paris.

She told Mr Hollande that the royal couple sent “sincere condolences” to the relatives of those killed and the French people.

While the Prince of Wales is to send Mr Hollande a message of “profound sympathy and solidarity with the people of Paris”.

Speaking outside Downing Street, Prime Minister David Cameron also offered his support the people of France.

He said: “Your values are our values, your pain is our pain, your fight is our fight.”

Mr Cameron will chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee today following the attacks.

Mr Hollande described the events as “terror attacks on an unprecedented level”.

During a visit to the theatre in the early hours Mr Hollande, who has cancelled his trip to the G-20 meeting in Turkey, he said: ”We will lead the fight. We will be merciless.”

Gunmen in the theatre reportedly shouted “it’s for Syria” and “Allah Akbar” inside the venue.

The rock band Eagles of Death Metal were performing a sold-out concert at the theatre.

The bandmates – who include Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age – are now safe.

An unverified Facebook post wrote of the terrorists’ siege: “There are still survivors inside the Bataclan. They’re killing everyone one-by-one.”

Automatic gunfire was heard outside the theatre where the hostages were being held.

Images on social media showed two men being ushered away from the theatre with blood clearly visible on their shirts.

Paris was immediately put in lockdown as President Hollande declared a state of emergency, closing the country’s borders.

He said: “France must be strong in the face of terrorism.

“Terrorist attacks are taking place in Paris. It’s a horror. We have mobilised all possible forces.”

France are now observing three days of national mourning.

The French army were mobilised, with 1,500 soldiers sent to the capital.

Deputy mayor of Paris Patrick Klugman said in the aftermath of the attacks: “We are facing an unknown and historic situation in Paris.”

The UK Foreign Office has warned Britons in the French capital to “exercise caution” in the wake of the killings.

Crystal Palace defender Martin Kelly was said to have been in the restaurant where the shooting took place. He is understood to be safe.

A shocked eyewitness known only as Louis told French media about one of the restaurant shooting, when he said: “The men came in and started shooting. Everyone fell to the ground. It was hell.

“I took my mum, and we hid. Someone near us said they have gone, so we ran out. I was only thinking of escaping.

“We’re out now. I think people are still inside. It’s a nightmare – a nightmare.”

Another eyewitness, Ben Grant, said he was in a bar with his wife when the gunshots were fired and he had seen six or seven bodies on the ground.

He said: “I was told people in cars had opened fire on the bar. There are lots of dead people. It’s pretty horrific to be honest.

“I was at the back of the bar. I couldn’t see anything. I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.

“We were held up in the bar because there was a pile of bodies in front of us.”

There was also an explosion in a bar near the Stade de France when an international football match between France and Germany were taking place.

This is understood to be a suicide bombing.

A separate suicide bombing was carried out around a minute later near the stadium in the north of Paris.

Three people are said to have been killed in the explosions.

Mr Hollande was at the stadium during the time of the explosion and was quickly escorted away.

Videe shows the explosions were loud enough to penetrate the sounds of cheering fans.

Sirens were then immediately heard, and a helicopter was circling overhead.

Witness Fabien Baron said: “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.”

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