Paris Under Attack: Death Toll Rising In 'Spectacular' Terror Siege

Publish Date
Saturday, 14 November 2015, 11:24AM


What we know:

- Reports coming in that more than 159 people have been killed in shootings and explosions at up to seven locations.

- The attacks on Paris were probably planned for several weeks.

- It is believed over 100 of the 159 lives were taken at the Bataclan concert hall, where a group of attackers seized hostages.

-Five more explosions as well as shooting at the Bataclan concert hall prompted police to storm the venue, killing two hostage-takers.

- 11 people have been killed in a shooting at Le Carillon restaurant, near the Charlie Hebdo offices.

- Police confirm two suicide attacks and one bombing outside the Stade de France stadium during a France-Germany soccer friendly.

- President Francois Hollande, who was at the soccer match, has declared a state of emergency, closing France's borders.

- The attack comes amid heightened security measures ahead of the global climate summit in Paris in two weeks' time.

- France has been on edge since deadly attacks in January by Islamic extremists on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery left 20 dead.

- No one has yet claimed responsibility for the latest attacks.

- US President Barack Obama has condemned the attacks.

- Anyone who's concerned about a family member in Paris is being told to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 04 439 8000.

LISTENBarack Obama:Paris Attacks 

The attacks on Paris were probably planned for several weeks.

Intelligence analyst Dr George Friedman told Leighton Smith the atrocities have been designed to be as horrific as possible.

He said the aim is to generate hatred against Muslims, and therefore strengthen the Jihadist position.

It appears the police operation to free the hostages held in the Bataclan concert hall in Paris has been successful, but not before 118 patrons were killed.

Journalist Peter Allen said police are saying two of the hostage takers have been killed.

"They've moved in, clearly to stop lives being lost. They had to move in very, very quickly...Sadly, it's a scene of carnage and many civilian have died."

The Daily Telegraph's Henry Samuel said the gunman got inside the concert hall, and opened fire on the crowd.

"Clearly if the security forces have launched an assault this quickly, they fear a blood bath is going on...There's no point in hanging around."

There are reports more than 100 people have been killed in multiple attacks in Paris, including one near the Stade de France sports stadium and another at the concert venue.

 Others have been killed in explosions near the stadium just north of Paris, where a France-Germany football match was taking place, and in a restaurant shooting, and there are also reports grenades were thrown there.

A New Zealand lawyer is hiding in a doorway at the edge of one of the police cordons in Paris.

Sefton Revell is in the 11th arrondissement of the city, and he was in a bar only a few hundred metres from the restaurant attack.

He said there's a massive convoy of police vehicles going up Boulevard Voltaire towards the Bataclan theatre.

"There's army guys with helmets and automatic weapons, and they're all looking back up the street. So, it's police, it's gendarme and army."

While he didn't see the shooting itself, he said on the way home he passed the concert hall where people were being held hostage. 

French President Francois Hollande has now closed his country's borders, and declared a state of emergency.

Visibly shaken, he's just told the people of France the terror attacks are not over yet.

Newstalk ZB correspondent in Paris Catherine Field agrees the situation is still unfolding.

"There were grenades, there were automatic weapons used, there were explosions.

"There are police everywhere, there are security alerts everywhere, there are ambulances everywhere."

She said the city is in a state of shock.

"No one expected that so quickly after the January attack we would be back to this situation here in Paris, where literally people on the streets in Paris, away from those areas, are standing around in shock saying, is this really what is happening to this city again?"

US security officials believe the attacks in Paris are coordinated.

Although there's been no official claim of responsibility, ISIS has been celebrating the attacks on Twitter, and eyewitnesses say they heard gunmen chanting Allahu Akbar.

CNN's terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said although there's been no official confirmation, it looks like a co-ordinated attack.

"Especially because of the reports of potential suicide bombers being involved, of Allahu Akbar being chanted by some of the shooters, because of the kind of weapons being used...this appears to be a coordinated, ongoing attack...some kind of spectacular terrorist attack."

US President Barack Obama has condemned the series of deadly attacks as an "attack on all of humanity", and pledged to work with France to bring those responsible to justice.

"Whenever these kinds of attacks happen, we've always been able to count on the French people to stand with us," Obama said in a brief speech from the White House.

"They have been an extraordinary counter-terrorism partner. And we intend to be there with them in that same fashion."

And British Prime Minister David Cameron said he's shocked by the events in Paris.

He said his thoughts and prayers are with the French people.

Newstalk ZB

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