One of the biggest terrorist attacks: Assassins murder 126 people in Paris, more than 200 injured
The attacks that cost the lives on Friday evening of dozens of people in Paris are being reported by French news servers with the headlines "State of emergency", "Series of suicide assassinations", "Unprecedented assaults". The media is also noticing that the attackers chose the unlucky day of Friday the 13th for their assault.
The media are also reporting that unlike January's attack on the editorial offices of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine, the target last night was crowds of people, not individuals. Already now it is clear that this is one of the most tragic terrorist attacks there has ever been in Europe.
Apparently more than 10 terrorists attacked around 21:20 CET in a coordinated fashion in seven places, in the very center of Paris and at a stadium where a football match between France and Germany was being watched by tens of thousands of people, including President François Hollande. A restaurant in the center and a concert hall were also targeted - places where city residents had come that evening to enjoy themselves.
Small groups of assailants were armed with machine guns and other firearms but were not wearing masks, according to witnesses. Near the Stade de France stadium there was confusion at the moment people learned explosions had occurred, after which French President Hollande was taken to safety in order to subsequently direct security measures from the Interior Ministry and hold an emergency cabinet session.
Some football fans descended onto the pitch and waited for gradual evacuation. Police confirmed there had been two suicide attacks and one bomb.
At least three very young assailants fired their weapons into the crowd inside the Bataclan concert hall where the audience then was imprisoned. There has been talk of several hundreds of persons who were detained there and 100 people have died.
According to police three terrorists were killed at the concert hall. The capacity of the hall, which is located near the place where extremists attacked the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in January, is 1 500.
There had previously been discussion of how the hall might be targeted because of its programming. The concert yesterday evening was held by the American group Eagles of Death Metal.
After these incidents, police closed the metro in the center, specifically, five metro lines. Parisians were asked by their mayor not to leave their homes, but many people remained in the streets without the option of quickly going inside, including many tourists.
The city announced that schools, including universities, who usually have classes on Saturday, will remain closed today. Hollande announced a state of emergency for the entirety of French territory after a session with his crisis staff.
At the same time Hollande decided to close the French border, where controls had begun already yesterday morning because of the upcoming climate summit. The Office of the French President later clarified that after the terrorist attacks controls will be tightened at the borders, but will not be closed, as the French President originally announced.
The President has ordered military reinforcements to Paris and 1 500 soldiers are to arrive there to aid police patrols. The number of injuries as a result of the attacks is estimated in the dozens.
Doctors and health care workers have been summoned to hospitals, including those who are part of transplant teams. The events in Paris have become the most-followed news on social networking sites.
People from all over the world are expressing their solidarity using the hashtag #PrayforParis. People are also sharing photos of global landmarks lit up in the colors of the French tricolor, which was also a form of support for the French after the January assassinations at the editorial offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly, during which 12 people perished.
London's Wembley Stadium and the Empire State Building in New York are now covered in red, white and blue. Should the current information of more than 120 victims be confirmed, the terrorist attacks in Paris yesterday will be among the worst Europe has ever experienced.
To date the assassinations that have taken the most lives were those perpetrated in Madrid in March 2004. During bomb attacks on trains there 191 people perished.
Yesterday's terrorist attacks in the French capital could also exceed the tragic outcome of the occupation of Moscow's Dubrovka Theater by Chechen terrorists in 2002. After an attack by a Russian commando unit there were 129 dead civilians and 40 dead terrorists left on the scene.
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