Paris Attacks: Dozens Dead and Hostages Held at Bataclan
PARIS — A shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage taking convulsed the Paris area on Friday night in what appeared to be one of the deadliest coordinated terrorist attacks to ever strike France.
French television and news services quoted the police as saying at least 60 people had been killed and many dozens wounded in at least four attacks, far eclipsing the deaths and mayhem that roiled Paris in the Charlie Hebdo massacre and related assaults around the French capital less than a year ago.
There was no claim of responsibility, but Twitter erupted with celebratory messages by members and sympathizers of the Islamic State, the extremist group based in Syria and Iraq that is under assault by major powers including the United States, France and Russia.
French television reported that one of at least two explosions had struck near Paris at the country’s main sports stadium, forcing the hasty evacuation of President François Hollande. The explosion occurred during a France-Germany soccer match.
Mr. Hollande quickly convened an emergency cabinet meeting.
The main shooting appeared to have broken out at a popular concert hall, The Bataclan, where the American band the Eagles of Death Metal was playing, and French news services said as many as 100 hostages may have been taken there.
A witness quoted by BFM television said he heard rounds of automatic rifle fire and someone shouting “Allahu akbar!” at The Bataclan.
The police were ordering bystanders in the that area to get off the streets, French television reported. French news media reported that Kalashnikov rifles had been involved in the shootings — a favored weapon of militants who have attacked targets in France — and that many rounds had been fired.
The shootings occurred near the former headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical newspaper where shootings by Islamic militants traumatized France in January.
Police sirens sounded throughout central Paris on Friday night.
Adam reported from Paris, and Rick from New York. Aurelien Breeden contributed reporting from Paris.