A series of terror attacks killed at least 160 people in Paris Friday night, the worst acts of violence to hit France since World War II.
The seemingly-coordinated shootings and explosions took place at multiple locations in the French capital, including a café and a stadium where a soccer game was interrupted by an apparent suicide bombing, sending the crowd pouring onto the pitch. Eyewitnesses claim that the assailants carried Kalashnikov rifles.
Some 118 people were reported killed at the Bataclan theater, where hostages were taken and systematically executed before police stormed the building and killed at least three gunmen.
Californian rock band Eagles of Death Metal were performing a concert at the venue.
Reports of gunfire, explosions, and ongoing killings within the theater forced a police assault on the building at about 6:30 p.m. EST, according to Agence France-Presse, which was first to report the scale of the carnage.
Local news channel BFMTV reported that the police operation was concluded at about 7 p.m.
Julian Pearce, speaking to CNN, says he escaped the building earlier in the evening and described it as a “bloodbath.”
There were further reports of gunfire at a food market near the center of town. 42 were reportedly killed there, at the Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district, and in the stadium bombing.
French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency in the capital and throughout the Île-de-France and said that the crimes taking place would be stopped. The attack, he said, represented a terrible hardship and said that his thoughts were with the victims and their families.
He also closed the French borders, an unprecedented measure in modern Europe. On twitter, he said that France would defeat the terrorists: “Faced with dread, our nation knows to defend itself, knows to mobilize its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists.”