By Candace Kellner
Paris was the victim of eight carefully coordinated and violent terrorist attacks on Friday, Nov. 13, with a death toll of at least 129 and 352 wounded, reported the New York Times. All eight attacks happened within about a half hour.
A deadly attack in the Bataclan concert venue in Paris left dozens of people dead. President Francois Hollande called the events “unprecedented terrorist attacks.”
According to CNN, Hollande said in a series of tweets, “Faced with terror, this is a nation that knows how to defend itself, how to mobilize its forces and once again, knows how to overcome the terrorists.”
Julien Pearce, a French radio reporter, was inside the Bataclan theater when the two gunmen entered. The gunmen were dressed in black and started shooting what he described as AK-47 guns.
After wounded people fell to the floor, the two gunmen shot them again, execution style, he said. According to Pearce, the gunmen wore no masks and were silent. The gunfire lasted 10 to 15 minutes.
Another attack occurred the same night at the Stade de France outside Paris and appears to have been a suicide bombing, a Western intelligence source receiving direct intelligence from the scene told CNN.
A dismembered body was found at the scene which is, according to CNN, consistent with the aftermath of an explosion from the type of device used in a suicide bombing.
Several more attacks occurred at four restaurants throughout the city, according to the New York Times.
“We have to show compassion and solidarity and we also have to show unity and keep our cool. France must be strong and great,” President Hollande said.
President Hollande ordered a state of emergency and increased border security to make sure the attackers could not escape, the New York Times reported.
As a worldwide manhunt is underway for the “dangerous” remaining attackers, the Paris police have warned civilians to proceed with caution, CNN reported.
French authorities have launched a terrorism investigation, according to CNN. ISIS has applauded the attacks on Twitter and claimed responsibility for them, CNN said.
U.S. President Barack Obama called the attacks an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.”
“This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people of France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share,” he said at the White House.
Counterterrorism officials around the United States have convened secure conference calls to try and gather information and to assess whether there is any indication of threats in the U.S., according to CNN.
Officials said that immediate suspicion for the events in Paris falls to so-called returnees — people who have traveled to Syria and Iraq and have returned.
These attacks come less than a year after two gunmen attacked the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and wounding 11 in January.
In response to these attacks, on Monday, Nov. 16, the French Air Force bombed ISIS targets in Raqqa, Syria, CNN reported.