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The Attacks in Paris: What We Know

What happened, who did this, and what’s next after the deadly attacks.

The Attacks in Paris: What We Know

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Multiple attacks in Paris on Friday have left at least 120 people dead and another 352 wounded. Here is a roundup of the latest information we have:


What happened?

Seven separate sites around Paris were attacked late Friday, including two restaurants and the Stade de France soccer stadium. Most of those killed were at the Bataclan concert hall, where a California band, Eagles of Death Metal, were performing. It is the deadliest attack in Europe since the 2004 bombing of commuter trains in Madrid that killed 191. French police say the attacks were carried out by eight people.

Who did this?

On Saturday, ISIS, or the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement, the group claimed the attack was in retaliation for France’s support of a ‘crusader campaign’ against its fighters in Syria and Iraq. French President Francois Hollande has declared the attack “an act of war that was prepared, organized, planned from abroad with internal help,” and French authorities have identified one of the attackers as a French national flagged for ties to Islamic extremism.

On Saturday, the office of the Paris prosecutor said the attacks were carried out by three teams of terrorists, including one who entered Europe with a Syrian passport along with others fleeing the civil war in that country. The chief prosecutor, François Molins, said the attackers were heavily armed and had explosive suicide vests.

The attacks in Paris come just days after a bombing in Beirut and the destruction of a Russian airliner over Egype, both of which were also claimed by ISIS.

How many have died?

Authorities in France report that at least 127 people are dead with close to 300 more wounded. More than 100 were killed at the concert hall, where attackers held hostages before French police stormed the building.

Seven of the attackers died after detonating suicide bombs, while the eighth was shot and killed by French police.

What’s happening in Paris now?

There is still a heavy police and military presence in the French capital, and all city and government institutions are closed. Hollande has declared a state of emergency and has called for three days of official national mourning. Many Parisians are waiting in long lines to donate blood at donation centers and hospitals, while others have erected impromptu memorials around the city.

Many are using the hashtag #rechercheParis (searching Paris) to circulate the names and photos of the missing.

What is the global reaction?

People around the world have expressed sympathy and solidarity with the people of France. President Obama on Friday said that Washington would “do whatever we can to work with the French people to bring these terrorists to justice,” declaring that “those who think they can terrorise the people of France or the values they stand for are wrong.”

Germany’s Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière, has warned against linking the attacks to the curernt migrant crisis in Europe. That theme had already emerged among right-wing politicians in Europe and the U.S. within hours of the attack, with Republican Newt Gingrich tweeting that it was time to “have a serious debate about millions of Syrian refugees and how many terrorists will be in the crowd.” The news that at least one of the attackers had reached Paris by traveling with refugees will undoubtedly intensify that rhetoric.

Belgian officials say they have arrested at least one man believed connected to the attacks.

What’s next?

Authorities have said this week’s planned G20 talks in Turkey will proceed, as will the COP21 climate summit to be held in Paris later this month. The attacks will now be the focal point for tonight’s Democratic presidential debate, to be broadcast on CBS. The debate was already planned to focus on foreign policy and national security, but CBS producers say the format is being reworked to make the attacks a central element.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in Vienna for talks on resolving the civil war in Syria, released a joint statement with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, saying the attacks would only “stiffen our resolve to fight back, to hold people accountable and to stand up to the rule of law.” Several officials attending the talks report the negotiators made significant progress.

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