Paris Attack ‘Act of War,’ says French President Hollande

President Francois Hollande: France will be ruthless against barbarians Daech. It will act with all the means within the law and on all fields, (and) in consultation with our allies.

PARIS, Nov. 15 (PNA/Xinhua) — French President Francois Hollande announced a national mourning for three days after attacks claimed by the Islamic State (IS) radical cell that struck the French capital, causing 129 dead and 352 injured among whom at least 99 are in very critical situations, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins announced Saturday evening.

“The country is in sorrow,” Hollande said, adding that a minute of silence would be maintained at Monday midday.

Shocked people laid flowers and candles in front of Cambodge et le Carillon restaurants stormed by the gunmen Friday night in Charonne area, according to local reports.

In the wake of the fatal assaults, Paris’ iconic tower, Eiffel Tower was closed indefinitely. All major sports and cultural events were cancelled in the Paris region. Doors of schools, universities and municipal buildings remained closed on Saturday.

“It is an act of war prepared, organized, planned from outside and with internal complicities that the investigation will confirm, ” the French head of state denounced in a televised statement.

“The act of absolute barbarism” was “an act of war” organized from abroad by the IS with internal complicities, Hollande added.

Related story here: France thanks PH for expression of sympathy, world leaders condemn Paris terrorist attacks

The IS claimed responsibility Saturday morning in an online statement of coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers that rocked popular venues in Paris 10th and 11th district in addition to the national stadium where Hollande was attending a France-Germany friendly game.

“Eight brothers carrying explosive belts and assault rifles targeted the places previously carefully selected,” the IS said in the statement.

The group which wants to topple western-backed Arab states to impose its version of Islamic law, menaced to attack French interests as Paris carries out military operation in Iraq and Syria.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins announced the provisional death toll of Paris attacks is 129 and 352 injured among whom at least 99 in very critical situations.

Among the 129 victims, 89 were killed during the shooting and hostage taking in Bataclan theatre, Molins told the press.

He also added that seven terrorists were also neutralized, including three killed during the assault carried out by security forces to rescue hostages taken in Bataclan theatre.

However, Molins pointed out that “very likely” there were three teams of “terrorists” who coordinated the attacks all over Paris.

As for their identities, the prosecutor only gave out details on two attackers.

“One of the attackers at Bataclan is formally identified,” he confirmed, adding that the suspect was born in France in 1985, known to the intelligence services as islamist.

Speaking of the explosives used during the attack at French national stadium Stade de France, the Paris Prosecutor confirmed they were the same kind on all the suicide bombers.

The attackers, equipped with kalashnikov shot “several hundreds of bullets at different sites of attacks”, Molins said, adding that one of the vehicles used by the attackers was registered in Belgium and rented by a French.

Following the country’s worst attacks, the French government ordered increased security at home and at its embassies abroad.

“Faced with war, the country must take appropriate actions,” Hollande said after an emergency defense meeting earlier on Saturday.

“France will be ruthless against barbarians Daech. It will act with all the means within the law and on all fields, (and) in consultation with our allies,” he added.

A number of 1,500 military officers have been deployed across the country to ensure the safety of public places mainly in the capital, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

More related story here: Islamic State claims responsibility as 150 killed in attacks across Paris

Ten months after the deadly terrorist attack in January, calmness was broken once again Friday night in the French capital where explosions and shootings took place in Paris 10th and 11th district and its northern suburb.

Despite the terro threats, French Foreign Affairs Minister and President of the upcoming Paris Climate Conference, Laurent Fabius said in Vienna the COP21 would take place as scheduled.

France has been on high alert since the Charlie Hebdo series of attacks in January 2015. The government is keeping the Vigipirate security system at the highest level and has deployed 10,000 soldiers across the country to ensure security, mainly of sensitive places such religious centers.

Since Saturday, France has been in a state of emergency all over the metropolitan territory and Corsica.(PNA/Xinhua)


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