ISIS group claims responsibility in Paris attacks, killing 129, injuring 352

Nov 13, 2015, 5:25 PM | Updated: Nov 14, 2015, 1:18 pm
Candles are placed outside the French embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, for t...
Candles are placed outside the French embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, for the victims in Friday's attacks in Paris. French President Francois Hollande said more than 120 people died Friday night in shootings at Paris cafes, suicide bombings near France's national stadium and a hostage-taking slaughter inside a concert hall. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
(AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

At least 129 people were killed Friday in six terror attacks and 352 were injured in attacks that unfolded across Paris in the deadliest violence the city has seen since World War II.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said 99 remain in critical condition.

Molins said that 89 were killed inside the Bataclan music venue, a Paris concert hall, where the attackers took hostages. Dozens of others were injured, some still fighting for their lives.

One official described “carnage” inside the building, saying the attackers had tossed explosives at the hostages. Both officials said they expected the toll of victims to rise.

Paris police said eight extremists are dead after the attacks, seven of them in suicide bombings. Authorities are still hunting for any possible accomplices.

Cal State Long Beach officials said Saturday that one its students was among the dead. The school said Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, was inside one of the restaurants that were struck by terrorists Friday evening.

The university said that Gonzalez was a junior studying design  and was part of an international exchange program at the Strate School of Design.

It is not immediately known how many Americans have been possibly killed or injured.

On Saturday, the Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility and said France would remain at the “top of the list” of its targets.

An online statement said eight militants armed with explosive belts and automatic weapons attacked carefully chosen targets in the “capital of adultery and vice,” including a soccer stadium where France was playing Germany, and the Bataclan concert hall, where an American rock band was playing, and “hundreds of apostates were attending an adulterous party.” The statement said France and its supporters “will remain at the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State.” “The stench of death will not leave their noses as long as they remain at the forefront of the Crusaders’ campaign, dare to curse our prophet, boast of a war on Islam in France, and strike Muslims in the lands of the caliphate with warplanes that were of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris,” it said. While no U.S. citizens have been reported dead, more than 70 who were known to have been in France are still unaccounted for, according to a U.S. official who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.  The official also said there was no indication of the attacks beforehand. 

Paris Chief Police Officer Michel Cadot said in an interview with the Associated Press that the attackers at the music venue blew themselves up with suicide belts as police closed in.

Rep. Adam Schiff said in an interview with the Associated Press it is unclear who was responsible for the attacks, but said the Islamic State group and al-Qaida are “distinct possibilities.”

At least 11 people were killed in a Paris restaurant in the 10th arrondissement.

Also late Friday, two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium north of Paris during a France-Germany friendly football match.

A police official confirmed one explosion in a bar near the stadium. It is unclear whether there are casualties.

An Associated Press reporter in the stadium Friday night heard two explosions loud enough to penetrate the sounds of cheering fans. Sirens were immediately heard, and a helicopter was circling overhead.

After the game, images and video began circulating on social media of frightened fans refusing to leave the stadium.

https://twitter.com/v_menichini/status/665288818711519233/video/1

President Barack Obama addressed the American public shortly after the attacks, saying the U.S. does not know all of the details but are working with French officials and have offered assistance.

“This is an attack not just on Paris, this is not just an attack on France … this is an attack on humanity,” Obama said.

At the closing of his remarks, Obama said the American populace has been able to count on France in similar situations.

Numerous American sporting events, landmarks and cities reportedly increased security after the attacks, though media reports said there was no direct threat to the nation from the attacks.

French President François Hollande closed the nation’s borders shortly after the shooting and declared a state of emergency.

Hollande canceled a scheduled trip to the G-20 meeting in Turkey. The meeting is being held to discuss the rising threat of terrorist acts carried out by Islamic extremists.

The attack comes as France has heightened security measures ahead of a major global climate conference that starts in two weeks, out of fear of violent protests and potential terrorist attacks.

Emilioi Macchio, from Ravenna, Italy, was at the Carillon bar near the restaurant that was targeted, having a beer on the sidewalk when the shooting started. He said he didn’t see any gunmen or victims, but hid behind a corner then ran away.

“It sounded like fireworks,” he said.

France has been on edge since deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in January on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery that left 20 dead, including the three attackers.

One of at least two restaurants targeted Friday, Le Carillon, is in the same general neighborhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices, as is the Bataclan, among the best-known venues in eastern Paris, near the trendy Oberkampf area known for a vibrant nightlife. The California-based band Eagles of Death Metal was scheduled to play there Friday night.

The country remains on edge after January attacks on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. The Charlie Hebdo attackers claimed links to extremists in Yemen, while the kosher market attacker claimed ties to the Islamic State group.

The country has seen several smaller-scale attacks or attempts since, including an incident on a high-speed train in August in which American travelers thwarted an attempted attack by a heavily armed man.

France’s military is bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq and fighting extremists in Africa, and extremist groups have frequently threatened France in the past.

French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who have traveled to Syria and returned home with skills to stage violence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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ISIS group claims responsibility in Paris attacks, killing 129, injuring 352