Bloodthirsty terrorists killed more than 140 people and wounded scores of other innocents in coordinated shooting and suicide bomb attacks in Paris late Friday that included a mass execution at a rock concert, authorities said.
The carnage began about 10 p.m. local time — with the jihadis targeting venues packed with helpless victims in a busy nightlife district and a soccer stadium where President Francois Hollande was watching a match with Germany.
The well-planned strike played out in multiple locations:
– At the Bataclan theater, a pair of gunmen wearing suicide vests — screaming “This is for Syria!” and “Allah Akbar!” — opened fire on the packed house that gathered to see the American band Eagles of Death Metal.
The black-clad killers then picked off many of the wounded victims one at a time, as terrified witnesses described the horror on social media.
By the time the gunmen were killed by police, they had executed about 100 concertgoers.
Witnesses said they heard several rounds of gunfire and explosions at the theater, including during the final siege
At the same time gunmen stormed the theater, a man armed with a Kalashnikov fatally shot several diners and wounded many others at the Le Petit Cambodge Cambodian restaurant in the 10th arrondissement.Dozens of shots were fired, according to witnesses, who described the scene as a “nightmare,” with multiple bodies lying in the street and police and ambulances rushing to their aid, the Liberation newspaper reports.
Holnde was hustled away by his security detail, but the game was allowed to finish before fans gathered on the field.
– The Le Carillon bar near the concert venue was also strafed with gunfire.
“We were listening to music when we thought we heard shots. A few seconds later, we were in a scene out of a war,” one of a dozen doctors from the Saint-Louis Hospital told Le Monde.
“There was blood everywhere. We tried to go as quickly as possible. The wounded were evacuated. I did not see the assailants. A friend said he saw a man with a war armament,” he said.
In an address broadcast around the world, Hollande said of the massacre: “It’s a horror.”
“Two decisions will be taken: a state of emergency will be decreed which means certain places will be closed, traffic may be banned and searches may also take place throughout the Paris region,” he said.
A city-wide curfew was put into effect in Paris for the first time since 1944.
“The second decision I have taken is to close the borders. We must guarantee that no one can come in to commit any act. And at the same time those who may have committed crimes can be arrested if they try to leave the country,” he said.
The shattered nation’s leader vowed to defeat the terrorists.
“Who are these criminals? Who are there terrorist who are attacking us? My heart goes out to the victims and their families. We will come together. France is strong,” he said.
“What the terrorists want is for us to be scared. But in the face of terror we have to be united and will vanquished these terrorists,” he said. “Long live the Republic and long live France.”
At the White House, President Obama said, “This is not just an attack on Paris or the people of France, it was an attack on humanity.”
Obama also said the US would provide all the assistance France needs, calling the country “our oldest ally.”
“This is a heartbreaking situation. Obviously those of us in the United States know what it’s like. We’ve gone through these kinds of episodes ourselves. Whenever these kinds of attacks happened, we’ve always been able to count on the French people to stand with us.
“We intend to be there with them in that same fashion.”
Le Carillon and the Bataclan are among the best-known venues in eastern Paris — and are in the same general neighborhood where the Charlie Hebdo offices were located when it was attacked by jihadis last January.
France has been on edge since deadly attacks by Islamic extremists on the satirical newspaper and a kosher grocery that left 20 dead.