Posted by News Express | 14 November 2015 | 2,801 times
At least 153 people have been killed in a shootout in a Paris arts centre and a wave of gun attacks and explosions across the French capital late Friday.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said the attacks took place at six sites, adding that "the death toll at the six sites will exceed 120".
"As many as five terrorists may have been killed," though it was not clear how many there were altogether and how many are still on the loose.
Molins said there are "scores of deaths" at the Stade de France, "18 were killed in rue de Charonne, one in Boulevard Voltaire, five in rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 14 in rue Alibert, outside "Le Carillon" cafe."
Molins added a probe into the attacks was underway.
Reports indicate that more than 140 people overall have been killed in at least two suicide bombings, another explosion and a drive-by shooting, which targeted seven different locations.
Three explosions were reported outside a bar near the Stade de France, where France was hosting Germany in an international football friendly. French President Francois Hollande was watching the game and was evacuated by his security team.
A drive-by shooting left at least 11 people dead at Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district; a separate shooting targeted another restaurant in Rue de Charonne.
At the Bataclan arts centre, police forced their way inside after reports emerged that concert-goers had been taken hostage. Explosions and gunshots were reported later as security forces tried to take control of the building.
"No police officer has been killed in the assault ... however, one officer was injured," said the Interior Ministry.
President Hollande and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited the scene following a security meeting. Hollande has promised a determined, united France "which will not be afraid" in the face of terrorism.
"We will lead the fight, it will be ruthless," he added.
The French leader had used a TV address earlier to announce a state of emergency across the country; all borders will be closed.
He also cancelled a planned trip to Turkey where he would have taken part in the upcoming G20 summit.
Belgium later announced that it was introducing border controls with France.
The French president will hold an urgent Defense meeting on Saturday morning to evaluate the situation, said his office in a statement .
It added that 1,500 French troops had been deployed in various parts of the capital, which remains tense.
An Anadolu Agency reporter in the city described "extraordinary security measures and numerous ambulances and police vehicles rushing across Paris".
"The capital is like a war zone now. This is a major trauma which will be very hard for the French people to get over. This is not something Europe is used to," Anadolu Agency's Paris correspondent Fatma Esma Arslan said.
The attacks come 10 months after gunmen murdered journalists working on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, as well as killing shoppers in a kosher supermarket, amid a three-day spate of violence which left 17 people dead.
*Photo shows French Police men.
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