By Evangelia Katseri & Konstandina Kloukinioti (B class)
On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of Islamic terrorist attacks occurred in Paris. Beginning at 21:20, three suicide bombers struck near the Stade de France, followed by suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafés, restaurants, and a concert hall in Paris.
The attackers killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre, where they took hostages before engaging in a stand-off with police. There were 368 people who were wounded, 80–99 seriously. Seven of the attackers also died, while authorities continued to search for accomplices. The attacks have been the deadliest in France since World War II. France had been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including civilians and police officers. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying that it was in retaliation for the French airstrikes on ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq. The President of France, François Hollande, said that the attacks were an act of war by ISIL planned in Syria and organised in Belgium.
In response, a state of emergency was declared and temporary border checks were introduced. On 15 November, France launched the biggest airstrike of Opération Chammal, its contribution to the anti-ISIL bombing campaign, striking ISIL targets in Al-Raqqah. On 18 November, the suspected lead operative of the attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed in a police raid in Saint-Denis, along with at least two other people.
The gunmen entered the building through the main entrance about 30-45 minutes after the rock group the Eagles of Death Metal had begun their performance. Witnesses reported seeing bodies on the pavement near the doorway. Once in the building, they fired onto the crowd. Their first move was to shoot everybody standing at the bar. Witnesses recalled seeing a movement in the crowd below, as people began to realise what was happening and scrambled away from the killers. Many people dropped to the ground, but there was little cover in the concert hall. The gunmen shot at random into the mass of people lying down. An hour after entering the concert hall, BRI officers reached a door on the first floor. A voice behind the door – a concert-goer being held hostage – told them there were two men holding them, each with an explosive vest. Police union spokesman Nicolas Comte said officers entered and advanced behind a metal shield, which was hit by 27 bullets.»The officers realised they had to finish things quickly. They managed to shoot one and soon, as he saw that, the second one blew himself up.»The siege was over, but the marathon task of saving the lives of those who had been critically injured was just beginning.
PRIER POUR PARIS! PRIER POUR LE MONDE!