President François Hollande on Saturday blamed the Islamic State for the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, as the death toll rose to 128 victims, with 300 others hospitalized, 80 of them in critical condition. He declared three days of national mourning, and said that military troops would patrol the capital. France remained under a nationwide state of emergency.
“It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh, against France,” President Hollande told the nation from the Élysée Palace, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “It is an act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish.”
French police were hunting possible accomplices of eight assailants (all dead), who attacked concert-goers, cafe diners and soccer fans in at least six locations in the French capital. Authorities said that seven attackers blew themselves up, while the eighth was killed by police.
In the worst attack, a Paris city hall official said four gunmen systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people at a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall before anti-terrorist commandos launched an assault on the building.
The State Department confirmed that the wounded included Americans.
Speaking early Saturday, Hollande pointed the finger at ISIS for orchestrating the “cowardly” attacks which he described as an “act of war committed by a terrorist army” and organized from abroad. He said France remained “unbreakable,” calling for “unity and courage.”
Hollande added: “We will work alongside our allies to fight this terrorist menace … France is strong and even if she is wounded she will get up always and nothing will hold her down, even if we are feeling the grief now … We will defend ourselves.”
Here is a timeline for the events that went on Friday in Paris with all times being local.
9pm – a gunman fired into the Carillon bar before entering and continuing to shoot. Meanwhile the same was happening at the small Cambodge restaurant over the road. At the nearby Casa Nostra pizzeria was hit next, with half a dozen victims
Around 9:30 pm – a suicide bomber detonated a device outside the Stade de France where the France national team was playing a friendly against Germany. Another two attackers are killed in circumstances which remain unclear.
Sometime before 10pm – another bar, La Belle Epoche is targeted by two men spraying bullets into the customers sitting on the terrace. At least five lose their lives.
Around 10pm – a group of gunmen enter the Bataclan concert venue, where a rock gig is taking place. They open fire and take hostages.
Just after 11pm – President François Hollande declares the first national state of emergency since the Algerian crisis and closes France’s borders.
Just before midnight – Police enter the Bataclan venue, amid reports that the killing is continuing. At least three attackers detonated suicide vests and one more is shot by police. The death toll is above 112.
Midnight – PM Francois Hollande, Manuel Valls and Bernard Cazeneuve arrive in front of Bataclan. “France will regroup and will reunite” says Hollande.
This morning France and the world know that at least 128 are dead, another 180 injured, 80 of the injured are in critical condition with life threatening injuries.
World leaders were quick to condemn ISIS for the attack on Paris and offer the French leaders their help. President Barack Obama on Friday condemned the Paris terror attacks, calling them an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and pledging the U.S. government’s assistance to France.
“This is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share,” Obama said in a statement delivered in the White House Briefing Room. “We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance the people of France need to respond.”
Obama added, “This is a heartbreaking situation, and obviously those of us here in the United States know what it’s like and we’ve gone through these kinds of episodes ourselves.”