Paris attacks: David Cameron 'shocked' after over 100 killed in French capital

France has closed its borders in response to the violence

Kashmira Gander@kashmiragander
Saturday 14 November 2015 00:24
Police and rescuers work at the scene of an attack in Paris.
Police and rescuers work at the scene of an attack in Paris.

President Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency in France, after over 100 people were killed in a series of six apparently co-ordinated violent attacks in Paris.

Explosions were heard at a bar near the Stade de France where the French national football team was playing against Germany in a friendly match.

Shots were fired at at least two restaurants, while around 100 people were taken hostage at the Bataclan concert hall in the capital, where the American band The Eagles of Death Metal were performing.

Security forces later stormed the hall, killing two attackers. Officials on the scene described the events as "carnage" and said that the hostage-takers had thrown explosives at the victims. Police later announced that 100 people had died, dramatically raising the earlier death toll of 35.

Mr Hollande reacted by declaring a state of emergency and closing the country's borders. In a live address, he said that military personnel are being deployed around Paris after the attacks which claimed scores of lives.

World leaders have joined in him condemning the attacks in the French capital.

During a press conference at the White House, President Barack Obama called the attacks an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and vowed to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “shocked” by the Paris attacks and violence. Mr Cameron said on Twitter “Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she feels “deeply shaken by the news and pictures that are reaching us from Paris", and issued a statement saying that her thoughts are with the victims.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned what he called "despicable terrorist attacks”, and demanded the immediate release of numerous hostages being held in the Bataclan theater.

The state of Qatar also issued a statement against "these heinous attacks".

Khaled al-Attiyah, the Qatari foreign minister, said: "These acts, which target stability and security in France are against all human and moral values."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn mirrored the Prime Minister's and Mr Al-Attiyah's words, labelling the attacks "heinous and immoral."

"My thoughts are with the people of Paris tonight. We stand in solidarity with the French," he said.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Most Rev Justin Welby also tweeted a message regarding the attacks, calling them "tragic".

John Cohen, a former US Homeland Security Department counter-terrorism co-ordinator, said that the attacks appeared to be a co-ordinated effort to "send a message" and raise immediate terror concerns, including in other European cities and potentially the US.

He said that both al-Qaeda and Isis had carried out similar co-ordinated attacks in the past. However, it remains unclear who is behind the attacks, with no groups yet claiming responsibility.

The Foreign Office said those concerned about British friends or relatives in Paris can call the main switchboard number 0207 0081500 for assistance.

Additional reporting by PA

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