PARIS — Gunmen and bombers attacked restaurants, a concert hall and a sports stadium at locations across Paris on Friday, killing at least 120 people in a deadly rampage that a shaken President Francois Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack.
A Paris city hall official said four gunmen systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people attending a rock concert at the Bataclan music hall. Anti-terrorist commandos eventually launched an assault on the building. The gunmen detonated explosive belts and dozens of shocked survivors were rescued.
At least 40 more people were killed in five other attacks in the Paris region, the city hall official said, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the national stadium, where Hollande and the German foreign minister were watching a friendly soccer international.
The coordinated assault came as France, a founder member of the U.S.-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference due to open later this month.
Paris Public Prosecutor Francois Molins said the death toll was at least 120. Five gunmen had been “neutralized.”
“The terrorists, the murderers raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering (the concert hall). There were many victims in terrible, atrocious conditions in several places,” police prefect Michel Cadot told reporters.
After being whisked from the soccer stadium near the blasts, Hollande declared a nationwide state of emergency — the first since the end of World War II — and announced the closure of France’s borders to stop perpetrators escaping.
The Paris metro railway was closed and schools, universities and municipal buildings were ordered to stay shut on Saturday. However some rail and air services are expected to run.
“This is a horror,” the visibly shaken president said in a midnight television address to the nation before chairing an emergency cabinet meeting.
Check out the live coverage below.