Paris: On a night when thousands of Paris residents and tourists were reveling and fans were enjoying a soccer match between France and world champion Germany, horror struck in an unprecedented manner. Terrorists — some with AK-47s, some reportedly with bombs strapped to them — attacked sites throughout the French capital and at the stadium where the soccer match was underway.
Scores were killed in the coordinated attacks late Friday, leaving a nation in mourning and the world in shock. CNN will update this story as information comes in:
[Latest developments, posted at 9:07 p.m. ET]
• A journalist who was at a concert at the Bataclan concert venue and escaped after the shooting started told CNN: “We lied down on the floor not to get hurt. It was a huge panic. The terrorists shot at us for 10 to 15 minutes. It was a bloodbath.” Julien Pearce didn’t hear the attackers speak, but he said one friend who escaped heard them talk about Iraq and Syria. Later, he said the men were speaking French.
• CNN affiliate BFMTV, citing French officials, said gunmen were still at large.
Inside the Bataclan: ‘A bloodbath,’ witness says
• At least 153 people were killed in the Paris and Saint-Denis shootings and bombings, French officials said. Among the victims, 112 were killed at Bataclan, according to the Interior Ministry. Saint-Denis is home to the national stadium where the soccer match was being played.
• Five suspected attackers have been “neutralized”, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Saturday, French media reported. It was unclear what that term precisely meant.
• Michael Dorio, brother of a member of the band that was playing at the Bataclan concert, said he spoke to Eagles of Death Metal drummer Julian Doris about 20-30 minutes after the attack. “He said he had been performing and heard the gunshots. They stopped playing and hit the deck and went backstage and exited,” Michael Dorio told CNN.
• BFMTV reports that SWAT units stormed Bataclan and that the siege was over. Two attackers were killed, a police union said. Police brought out at least 100 hostages from the concert hall, a CNN producer said; some appear to be wounded. President Francois Hollande Francois told reporters outside Bataclan that “terrorists capable of carrying out such atrocities must know that they will face a France that is determined and united.”
• Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman told CNN the death toll is going to rise significantly. “We are facing an unknown and historic situation in Paris,” he said.
• Hollande called the events “unprecedented terrorist attacks” and added, “This is a horror.” In a tweet, he said, “Faced with terror, this is a nation that knows how to defend itself, how to mobilize its forces and once again, knows how to overcome the terrorists.”
• Pearce, the journalist at Bataclan, said two men dressed in black started shooting what he described as AK-47s, and after wounded people fell to the floor, the two gunmen shot them again, execution-style, he said. The gunfire lasted 10 to 15 minutes, sending the crowd inside the small concert hall into a screaming panic, said Pearce, who escaped. Pearce said he saw 20 to 25 bodies lying on the floor.