Home | News | Paris terror attacks in the heart of the city kills at least 40 people, about 100 held hostage

Paris terror attacks in the heart of the city kills at least 40 people, about 100 held hostage

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Paris has been gripped by terror after three coordinated terror attacks in the heart of the city killed at least 40 people.

There was a shootout inside a restaurant on the Rue Bichat, two explosions near the Stade de France sports stadium and another shooting at the Paris Bataclan concert hall where terrorists are said to be holding 100 people hostage. 

U.S. security officials believe the attacks were coordinated. 

It is thought that at least 11 were killed in the restaurant, close to where the Charlie Hebdo shootings occurred in January, and another 15 in the theatre, police officials said. 

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At least 26 people have been killed and at least seven wounded in terror attacks in central Paris tonight, it has been reported

At least 26 people have been killed and at least seven wounded in terror attacks in central Paris tonight, it has been reported

Bodies litter the streets of a Paris alley after a string of terror attacks in the French capital tonight 

Bodies litter the streets of a Paris alley after a string of terror attacks in the French capital tonight 

Victims lay on the pavement outside Paris restaurant following a terror attack in the French capital tonight

Victims lay on the pavement outside Paris restaurant following a terror attack in the French capital tonight

Two police officials said at least 11 people were killed in the restaurant shootout in Paris tonight

Two police officials said at least 11 people were killed in the restaurant shootout in Paris tonight

Machine gun fire and screams were heard from inside a restaurant on Rue Bichat, close to where the Charlie Hebdo shootings occurred in January

Machine gun fire and screams were heard from inside a restaurant on Rue Bichat, close to where the Charlie Hebdo shootings occurred in January

At least 11 people were killed in the restaurant, close to where the Charlie Hebdo shootings occurred in January, and another 15 killed in the theatre

At least 11 people were killed in the restaurant, close to where the Charlie Hebdo shootings occurred in January, and another 15 killed in the theatre

There was a shootout at a restaurant on the Rue Bichat, two explosions near the Stade de France sports stadium and another shooting at the Paris Bataclan concert hall tonight

There was a shootout at a restaurant on the Rue Bichat, two explosions near the Stade de France sports stadium and another shooting at the Paris Bataclan concert hall tonight

 

A man who was inside the theatre when the gunmen entered told a French radio station that the men shouted 'Allah Akbar' as they opened fire.

He added: 'The men came in and started shooting. Everyone fell to the ground. It was hell. I took my mum, and we hid. Someone near us said they have gone, so we ran out. 

'I was only thinking of escaping. We're out now. I think people are still inside. It's a nightmare - a nightmare.' 

'We are all terrified, and have been told to get away as soon as possible,' said Gilles Avel, a 19-year-old student who was enjoying a night out with friends close to the Bataclan, where a band called the Eagles of Death Metal was playing.

'There were shots and then lots of people running. We knew there was a rock concert going on in the Bataclan.' 

Anti-terrorist police and soldiers  could be seen flooding into the area. There have been unconfirmed reports that the attacker near the stadium, where the French football team is playing Germany in a friendly match tonight, was a suicide bomber. 

An eyewitness said the two explosions were loud enough to be heard over the sound of cheering fans. Sirens were heard immediately and a helicopter was seen circling overhead.

Players briefly stopped in their tracks when they heard the twin blasts. Following news of the attack, thousands of fans - too scared to leave the stadium - poured onto the pitch.

A police officer stands guard on a street near the scene of a shooting in Paris, France

A police officer stands guard on a street near the scene of a shooting in Paris, France

Police and other emergency services are at the scene, which is close to where the Charlie Hebdo attack happened in January.

Police and other emergency services are at the scene, which is close to where the Charlie Hebdo attack happened in January.

Witnesses have told of how they saw bodies littering the streets of Paris after a machine gun wielding attacker went on a rampage in central Paris 

Witnesses have told of how they saw bodies littering the streets of Paris after a machine gun wielding attacker went on a rampage in central Paris 

Machine gun fire and screams were heard from inside a restaurant close to the Rue Bichat  at around 9pm

Machine gun fire and screams were heard from inside a restaurant close to the Rue Bichat at around 9pm

Machine gun fire and screams were heard from inside a restaurant on Rue Bichat at around 9pm

An AK47 gunman attacked a Korean restaurant in the Bastille area of the city, while grenade blasts were also heard.

Police and other emergency services are at the scene, which is close to where the Charlie Hebdo attack happened in January. 

Images posted online showed the cracked windows of what appeared to be the restaurant under attack. 

Dozens of people were standing outside their cars on the junction opposite and the lights of polie cars could be seen above them.

Eyewitness Ben Grant, who was in a nearby bar with his wife at the time, said he saw six or seven bodies on the ground.

He told the BBC: 'I was told people in cars had opened fire on the bar. There are lots of dead people. It's pretty horrific to be honest. 

'I was at the back of the bar. I couldn't see anything. I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us. We were held up in the bar because there was a pile of bodies in front of us.'

Emilioi Macchio from Italy was at a bar close to where the restaurant shooting took place, and said it 'sounded like fireworks'.

Images posted online showed the cracked windows of what appeared to be the restaurant under attack

Images posted online showed the cracked windows of what appeared to be the restaurant under attack

French officials said there was an explosion in a bar near a sports stadium as well as a shootout in a Paris

French officials said there was an explosion in a bar near a sports stadium as well as a shootout in a Paris

Police and other emergency services are at the scene, which is close to where the Charlie Hebdo attack happened in January 

Police and other emergency services are at the scene, which is close to where the Charlie Hebdo attack happened in January 

Police and other emergency services are at the scene, which is close to where the Charlie Hebdo attack happened in January

Police and other emergency services are at the scene, which is close to where the Charlie Hebdo attack happened in January

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named. 

Paris' deputy mayor said the attacks were a horrific reminder of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January. 

‘It's a heavy recollection of what happened in January (C. Hebdo). Now we are struck again. This is harder. I am shaken,’ he said. 

 David Cameron said that he was 'shocked by events in Paris' and pledged to do 'whatever we can to help', adding: 'Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people.'

The restaurant targeted Friday, Le Carillon, is in the same general neighborhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices. 

France has been on edge since ISIS extremists launched a bloody attack on the satirical newspaper and a kosher grocery that left 20 people - including the three attackers - dead.

The attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo left 13 dead when two Paris born terrorists slaughtered its cartoonists and general staff members.

Four Jewish shoppers were also murdered in the same set of attacks inside a Kosher supermarket in nearby Vincennes. 

The French capital has been on a high state of alert ever since, with security services warning that another attack was always likely.

ISIS's online supporters have already started to celebrate the devastating attack in Paris, using the hashtag 'Paris in fire' on social media, but it has not been confirmed whether the terror group is behind the attacks.