The Islamic State has claimed credit for the city-wide massacre in Paris. President Hollande has confirmed this.
French President Francois Hollande has this morning pointed the finger of blame for last night’s Paris attacks squarely at Islamic State (ISIS), describing the attack as an “act of war.”
Mr. Hollande asserted that the attacks were “committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State group, a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.”
He said France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group.”
France “will act by all means anywhere, inside or outside the country” and described the attack as “cowardly”.
Announcing three days national mourning, and raising the country’s threat level to its highest possible point, Mr. Hollande spoke of “the terrorist menace,” and announced that he would address the French parliament on Monday.
He said in a televised address: “I pay homage to the country’s defenders who fought the terrorists yesterday.
“Everyone has given their upmost and will be putting in their best efforts in the day to come.”
“Even if France is wounded, she will rise.”
Mr. Hollande said the attacks were “organised” but “planned from outside” with help from within, suggesting that the terrorists who committed the atrocities may have been able to make their way into and across France from another country…… more
The Islamic group orchestrated the slaughter working with Muslims in France. How many helped the now dead eight jihadis?
Hollande was a target of the attack. He was at the stadium that was bombed.
Scenes were described as “apocalyptic.”
“We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks,” he said.
Another witness described the scene: “For a moment, we could only see the flames from the gun. We were scared, how did we know he wasn’t going to shoot the windows?”
Florence said she arrived by scooter a minute or so after.
“It was surreal, everyone was on the ground. No one was moving inside the Petit Cambodge restaurant and everyone was on the ground in bar Carillon,” she said.
“It was very calm — people didn’t understand what was going on. A young girl was being carried in the arms of a young man. She seemed to be dead.”
On Rue Charonne, a little further east, fire engines drive past, their sirens wailing.
A man said he heard shots ring out, in sharp bursts, for two or three minutes.
“I saw several bloody bodies on the ground. I don’t know if they were dead,” he said.
“There was blood everywhere,” said another witness.
People run after hearing what are believed to be explosions or gun shots near Place de la Republique square in Paris on November 13, 2015.
Paris Attacks: France Blames ISIS, Vows ‘Merciless’ Response,” NBC News, November 13, 2015
by Cassandra Vinograd, Nancy Ing, Jason Cumming and Matthew Grimson
PARIS — French President Francois Hollande blamed ISIS for orchestrating the worst attacks on the country’s soil since World War II as Paris woke up to a nightmare on Saturday.
A state of emergency was declared and France deployed 1,500 troops after a near-simultaneous series of explosions and shootings brought the city to a horrified standstill overnight. The death toll rose to 127 and around 200 other people were wounded, officials said.
French police were hunting possible accomplices of eight assailants, who attacked concert-goers, cafe diners and soccer fans in a coordinated assault targeting at least six locations in the French capital.
Speaking early Saturday, Hollande pointed the finger at ISIS for the “cowardly” attacks which he described as an “act of war” organized from abroad. He said France remained “unbreakable,” calling for “unity and courage.”
Hollande added: “We will work alongside our allies to fight this terrorist menace … France is strong and even if she is wounded she will get up always and nothing will hold her down, even if we are feeling the grief now … We will defend ourselves.”
Earlier, Hollande vowed to be “merciless” with the nation’s foes.
Image: Coats in front of Comptoir Voltaire cafe in Paris that was attacked
Coats are seen in front of the Comptoir Voltaire cafe in Paris that was the site an attack on Friday. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP – Getty Images
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the violence, which came less than a year after deadly attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket drove home the threat of Islamist terrorism here. However, ISIS supporters praised and celebrated the attacks on social media. The militant group has previously threatened attacks in France due to its military operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
“This time it’s war,” pronounced Saturday’s front page of Le Parisien newspaper. “War in the middle of Paris” echoed Le Figaro.