The worst terrorist attack in the modern history of Paris took place at a concert by Los Angeles rockers Eagles of Death Metal, as well as a number of other locations. Coordinated attacks in the French capital by multiple terrorists – gunmen and suicide bombers – struck a total of seven places, killing at least 87 people in the Bataclan theater, according to official reports.
Over 100 people were held hostage in the Bataclan after a performance by Eagles of Death Metal, reportedly by three young, unmasked attackers wearing flak jackets. They calmly walked into the theatre with Kalashnikovs and opened fire from the balcony, mowing down concertgoers, with enough time to reload three times.
The Washington Post has spoken with the mother of Eagles of Death Metal drummer Julian Dorio, who says that all band members are safe. “She said she spoke to her son’s wife, who said that the band members had managed to flee the concert hall when the attack began,” The Post reports.
Further confirmation comes from Kings of Leon:
To everyone concerned, I have heard that the band made it out safely. Unbelievably heartbroken for all the hostages in there now. I’m numb.
— Jared Followill (@youngfollowill) November 13, 2015
Nick Alexander, a 36 year-old man from London who was selling EODM merchandise, was killed at the venue. In a statement his family said he was “everyone’s best friend” and died “doing the job he loved”.
“It is with huge sorrow that we can confirm that our beloved Nick lost his life at the Bataclan last night,” the statement said. “Nick was not just our brother, son and uncle, he was everyone’s best friend – generous, funny and fiercely loyal. Nick died doing the job he loved and we take great comfort in knowing how much he was cherished by his friends around the world. Thank you for your thoughts and respect for our family at this difficult time. Peace and light.”
Europe 1 journalist Julien Pierce was at the show during the attack, the BBC reports. “Several armed men came into the concert,” he told the BBC. “Two or three men, not wearing masks, came in with what looked like Kalashnikovs and fired blindly on the crowd. It lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. It was extremely violent and there was panic. The attackers had enough time to reload at least three times. They were very young.”
The first of the nearly simultaneous attacks was reportedly on the Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris’s 10th arrondissement. Moments later, two suicide bombers attacked outside the Stade de France, just north of Paris, where France and Germany were playing in a soccer match. At least three people were reportedly killed and 80,000 evacuated.
French President François Hollande has issued an emergency decree in a midnight address to the nation, closing France’s borders and restricting travel internally. Military reinforcements have been called into Paris, as well, while all Paris residents have been ordered to stay indoors – for the first time since 1944.
Around the world, support has been shown for France’s deep tragedy. President Hollande, who was at the Stade de France at the time of the assaults, said:
“We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless. Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow.”
Photos of the area and memorials can be found below: