PARIS: IS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris that left 128 people killed, Reuters reports.
Belgium urged its citizens to avoid Paris and Secretary US John Kerry dubbed Paris attacks ‘fascism’ that seek to create chaos while Russian Foreign Minister said Paris attacks justify need to combat Islamic State, Al-Nusra.
Foreign ministers from more than a dozen nations have begun meeting in Vienna seeking to find a way to resolve the conflict in Syria.
Overshadowed by Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, the diplomats started discussions aimed at charting a path for a cease-fire and a political transition in Syria to end the country’s devastating war.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the attacks in Paris made it all the more necessary for the international community to find a common approach in Syria and terrorism. The foreign ministers of Germany, Jordan and Saudi Arabia echoed Fabius’ sentiments.
The death toll from a series of simultaneous gun attacks and explosions across Paris on Saturday rose to 128.
An explosion hit the national stadium where France was playing Germany in a football match.
Initially, police had said that at least 120 people were killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only some 200 metres (yards) from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by extremists in January.
The deadliest attack was on the Bataclan, a popular concert venue where the Californian rock group Eagles of Death Metal was performing. The concert hall is just a few hundred meters from the former offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, target of a deadly attack by Islamist gunmen in January.
A Paris city hall official said four gunmen systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people attending a rock concert at the Bataclan music hall. Anti-terrorist commandos eventually launched an assault on the building. The gunmen detonated explosive belts and dozens of shocked survivors were rescued.
Some 40 more people were killed in five other attacks in the Paris region, the city hall official said, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the national stadium, where Hollande and the German foreign minister were watching a friendly soccer international. Some 200 people were injured.
“The terrorists, the murderers raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering (the concert hall). There were many victims in terrible, atrocious conditions in several places,” police prefect Michel Cadot told reporters.
Police said a hostage scenario was under way at the venue, which is in an area known for its busy nightlife.
#ParisAttack Update: – Shooting at Restaurant – Multiple explosions – Hostages taken – Military deployed on streets – At least 30 dead
— Conflict News (@Conflicts) November 13, 2015
Three people were killed near the Stade de France stadium in the north of the capital, police said, where the international football match was taking place.
An AFP journalist at the scene said two explosions were heard. President Francois Hollande was evacuated from the stadium before the end of the match. Spectators flooded the pitch as news of the attacks spread. Organisers started evacuating the stadium by three doors.
Another attack was reported at a Cambodian restaurant called Petit Cambodge, not far from the Bataclan venue in northeast Paris. Counter-terrorism prosecutors said they had opened a preliminary investigation.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, called for residents to stay at home. “We heard gunfire, 30 seconds of fire, it was interminable, we thought it was fireworks,” said Pierre Montfort, who lives near rue Bichat, where one of the attacks took place.
The toll “will be much heavier” than the initial confirmed deaths, a security source said.
“My sister is in the Bataclan,” said Camille, 25. “I phoned her. She said they opened fire. And then she hung up.
” “Everyone was on the floor, no one moved,” said one witness from the Petit Cambodge restaurant.
“A girl was carried by a young man in his arms. She appeared to be dead.”
An AFP reporter outside the Bataclan said there were armed police and some 20 police wagons with their lights flashing around the scene.
A council of defence has been convened for Saturday at 9:00 am (0800 GMT). Already, 1,500 additional soldiers have been mobilised,” said the Elysee Palace in a statement
Obama says Paris attacks on ‘all of humanity’
US President Barack Obama condemned the series of deadly attacks across Paris Friday as an “attack on all of humanity” and pledged to work with France to bring those responsible to justice.
“Whenever these kinds of attacks happen, we’ve always been able to count on the French people to stand with us. They have been an extraordinary counterterrorism partner. And we intend to be there with them in that same fashion,” Obama said in a brief speech from the White House.
Facebook activates safety check feature for “Paris terror attacks”
Facebook launched a safety check tool Friday night amid an ongoing terrorist attack in Paris that have reportedly claimed the lives of as many as 120 people. The tool lets users in the area notify their friends of their safety.
The Vatican condemns the Paris attacks
The Vatican has condemned “in the most radical way” the terror attacks in Paris, Associate Press adds.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement early Saturday that the violence was “an attack on peace for all humanity.”
He said it requires “a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all of its forms.”
Lombardi said the Vatican was praying for the victims and the wounded, “and for all the French people.”
Iranian President canceled trips to France
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has canceled trips to France and Italy after terror attacks in Paris that killed over 120 people.
The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Rouhani as saying Saturday that Iran “itself has been a victim of the scourge of terrorism” and the fight against terrorism must go on. It did not elaborate why he canceled the visit, but authorities said the trip would be rescheduled.
Rouhani was due in days to travel to France and Italy. France was one of the world powers involved in recent negotiations with the Islamic Republic over its contested nuclear program.
U2 postponed its Saturday night concert in Paris
U2 has postponed its Saturday night concert in Paris in the light of the deadly attacks across the city Friday night.
Instead, the band says in a statement that it is resolved to go ahead with the concert “at an appropriate time.”
U2 members say they watched in shock and disbelief at the unfolding events and were devastated by the loss of life at the concert held by Eagles of Death Metal, one of several sites in the city that was violently attacked.
Security beefed up in New York and other cities of U.S
New York, Boston and other cities in the United States bolstered security on Friday night after deadly gun and bomb attacks on civilians in Paris, but law enforcement officials said the beefed-up police presence was precautionary rather than a response to any specific threats.
The New York Police Department said officers from its Counterterrorism Response Command and other special units were deployed in areas frequented by tourists, and at the French Consulate in Manhattan.
“Teams have been dispatched to crowded areas around the city out of an abundance of caution to provide police presence and public reassurance as we follow the developing situation overseas,” the NYPD said in a statement.
New York, the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the World Trade Center’s twin towers, is considered a top target for potential attacks by Islamist militants. The top of the Empire State Building and the spire at One World Trade Center were lit up Friday night with blue, white and red, the colors of the French flag.