A national state of emergency has been declared by France as well as tightening of its borders following gun and bomb attacks in Paris that left at least 128 people dead.
Eighty people were reported dead after gunmen charged into the Bataclan concert hall and captured hostages before security forces rushed into the hall.
People at restaurants, bars and five other sites in Paris were shot dead. At least 180 people were injured in the chaos.
These are the most catastrophic attacks in Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings.
Francois Holland, the French President, visibly unsettled, stated that Friday night’s attacks were a horror and he swore to undertake a merciless fight against terrorism.
Paris experienced three days of attacks early in January, when extreme Islamist gunmen killed 18 people after attacking Charlie Hebdo – a satirical magazine – a policewoman on patrol, and a Jewish supermarket.
Of Friday night’s attacks, the attack on the 1,500-seat Bataclan hall was by far the most catastrophic. Gunmen shot at concert-goers who were watching US rock group Eagles of Death Metal, which was a sold out event.
Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter, told Agence France Presse that at first they thought it was part of the show, but then they quickly understood what was happening. He added that the gunmen did not stop shooting. There were corpses and blood everywhere, a lot of screaming and everyone was trying to get away.
He also said that the gunmen captured 20 hostages, and he heard one of the gunmen tell their captives that it was President Hollande’s fault for interfering in Syria.
Within an hour, security forces had rushed to the concert hall and all four attackers there were dead. One was shot by police, and three of them had blown themselves up.
At the same time, not far from the Place de la Bastille and the Place de la Republique, a bar and three busy restaurants were attacked by gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs.
About 40 people were killed as customers were attacked at venues including a Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge and a pizza restaurant.
A resident living near Le Petit Cambodge stated that they heard the never ending sound of guns in 30-second bursts and thought it was fireworks.
Another target was the Stade de France, situated in northern Paris, where 80,000 spectators including President Hollande were watching a Friendly international between France and Germany.
The President was rushed to safety following the first of at least two explosions just outside the stadium to have an emergency cabinet meeting. Reportedly, three attackers were killed there.
As the magnitude of the bloodshed became clear, President Hollande appeared on national TV to declare a state of emergency for the first time in France since 2005. The state of emergency allows the authorities to impose curfews and restrictions on the movement of people and traffic, as well as close public places.
Around 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city and Paris residents have been requested to remain indoors.
All markets, swimming pools, gyms, libraries, museums and schools will be closed on Saturday, including Disneyland Paris. AFP reports that all sporting fixtures in Paris have been cancelled.
Police are quite sure that all of the gunmen are dead – one was shot dead by the security forces and seven killed themselves with explosive vests – but it is not clear if any accomplices are on the run
President Barack Obama stated that it was an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron was shocked and vowed to do whatever they can to help.
The Vatican stated that it was an attack on peace for all humanity and added that a supportive, decisive response is necessary on the part of all of us as we counter all forms of homicidal hatred.