Early today the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on Paris that left at least 127 dead and many injured. ISIL called the attacks a “blessed battle” of revenge. “A group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate set out targeting the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe, Paris,” an English-language audio message issued by the terrorist group said.
But French President Francois Hollande had strong words for the terrorist calling the attacks “an act of war.” Hollande confirmed that the Islamic State was responsible for the attacks and put the country on its highest level of security:
“[The attacks were] committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State group, a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.
France will be pitiless concerning the barbarity of Daesh.”
(Daesh is what the French call ISIL (or ISIS), it is a loose acronym for al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham).
In addition to heightening security, the French government has imposed curfews, limited public demonstrations and closed the Metro. More French troops will be stationed in Paris where they will guard public buildings and schools.
As of this morning, French authorities were still looking for possible suspects. A spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed that eight terrorists died in the attacks. She warned, however, that more might remain at large.
Video released by the French newspaper Le Monde shows graphic footage of concertgoers fleeing Bataclan hall. The video, which is very hard to watch, was taken by Daniel Psenny, a journalist for Le Monde, and shows the panic as people run from the concert hall:
French authorities continue to search for information about the attackers. According to USA Today, despite rumors, no information about the terrorists has been released, including their nationalities.
Image via AP.