On Friday, October 13, the city of Paris, France was shaken as a series of six attacks took place throughout largely populated regions of the city. The militant Islamist group ISIL has since taken credit for the attacks, and has made it clear that the attacks were largely motivated by French foreign policy against Syrian refugees. In response, French president François Hollande has declared a nationwide state of emergency, and the country has deployed aircraft to bomb ISIL strongholds throughout the middle east. ISIL has released statements following the attacks in which they have made claims that other international cities may be potential targets for future attacks.
During a soccer match at the Stade de France, security officials first uncovered a potential threat as they performed a routine frisk on a man attempting to enter the stadium. The search revealed that the man was wearing a vest that contained both heavy explosives and bolts. Following the vest’s discovery, the man detonated the garment in a suicide bombing. Nearly three minutes later, a second suicide bomber detonated his jacket in a similar fashion, and a third bomber ultimately detonated his vest at a nearby McDonald’s just outside of the stadium. Two other large explosions were heard inside the stadium, but authorities believe that these may have been firecrackers lit by fans watching the game.
In further attacks, militants made their way through Paris’ 10th and 11th arrondissements and targeted popular bars and restaurants. As the initial reports of the bombings at the Stade de France were released, diners on the outdoor terrace of Le Carillon in the 10th arrondissement encountered gunfire from a separate group of militants. The group later made their way to the popular Cambodian restaurant Le Petit Cambodge, where they entered the establishment and ultimately killed 11 of the diners.
In the 11th arrondissement, the attacks began when a suicide bomber detonated a vest filled with explosives in the Comptoir Voltaire cafe, injuring 12. Later, shooters entered the popular bar La Belle Equipe, and cornered and murdered 19 of the patrons.
However, the worst of the carnage occurred at the popular music venue the Bataclan, which was hosting the U.S. band Eagles of Death Metal. During the nearly-full concert, militants entered the building through the front doors and began shooting into the crowd at will. The band managed to escape backstage, but the largest part of the crowd was cornered to one half of the venue. Victims have reported playing dead in an effort to escape being shot by the perpetrators. When police finally managed to enter the venue and neutralize the situation, nearly 80 citizens had been killed with hundreds more wounded.
In France, President Hollande recently issued a statement in which he declared that “France is at war” with ISIS, and the president has urged lawmakers to extend the state of emergency for an additional three months. In doing so, police would gain the ability to raid the homes of those suspected of further terrorist attempts. Furthermore, Hollande has made it clear that he hopes to promote legislation that would allow the nation to strip suspected terrorists of French citizenship, and ultimately deport those suspected of terrorism.
When the attacks on Friday were finally over, 129 citizens were dead and an additional 350 injured at the hands of the shooters. Worldwide, countries have offered their condolences and solidarity to France as the nation begins to heal.