At least 153 people have been killed in highly synchronized attacks in central Paris, according to Agence France-Presse. One hundred people are dead at a theatre and another 53 people are dead at other locations.
The incident occurred Friday evening, beginning just after 9 p.m. Paris time, when shots were fired outside the Petit Cambodge restaurant located in the 10th arrondissement, a busy cultural and up-and-coming district, and outside the Le Carillon bar near the Canal Saint-Martin.
As well, there have been reports of at least two explosions outside Stade de France and a hostage situation at Bataclan theatre with as many as 100 people held captive, BFMTV reports.
Over at the Forum des Halles, a popular Paris shopping centre, an explosion and shooting also occurred.
Bodies are reportedly lined on the roads and sites where the attacks unfolded.
There was a near-capacity crowd at the stadium where a match was being held between France and Germany’s men’s team, a warm-up match for the Euro 2016 football competition.
American band Eagles of Death Metal was performing at the sold-out 1,500-seat Bataclan when the first shots fired.
“We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew,” Eagles of Death Metal wrote in a Facebook post. “Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation.”
According to the New York Times, four men carrying AK-47 rifles fired multiple rounds indiscriminately at the theatre crowd and threw grenades. They rounded up survivors as hostages, which led to a two hour police standoff. Eventually, police stormed the theatre, resulting in the deaths of all the terrorists and freeing survivors of the ordeal.
Many people are injured and the situation is still unfolding. The perpetrators are not known, but it is believed the bombings outside the stadium were suicidal and that several perpetrators involved in the shootings are still at large. The death toll is expected to rise.
“We are outside of central Paris now,” Los Angeles-based singer Vanessa Bryan told Vancity Buzz. “Few sirens but we are a safe distance. Most everyone in neighbourhood is glued to the news or looking out their windows – everyone is instructed to stay indoors”
“We had literally just got home from central Paris and were supposed to be moving into a flat there in that district tomorrow.”
All borders into France are closed and a state of emergency has been declared. At this time, Eurostar trains are still running and Charles De Gaulle Airport remain operational, but American Airlines has delayed its flights until there is more information.
People are being told to get out of the streets and head indoors: A citywide curfew is in effect, the first time such a curfew has been in place since the Second World War. There are reports of local businesses and residents opening their doors to people stranded in the streets, and taxi drivers turning their meters off to take people home.
Schools, libraries, universities, museums, and other public buildings will be closed on Saturday as a precaution.
Tens of thousands of spectators at Stade de France were gathered in the pitch following the attacks outside the stadium.
French president Francois Hollande was at Stade de France at the time of the attack and has since been evacuated to a safe location. An explosion could be heard during the live broadcast of the football match.
“Terrorist attacks of an unprecedented magnitude are in play in Paris. It’s horror,” Hollande said in a televised statement. “We have mobilized all forces possible to neutralize the terrorist. I’ve asked for military reinforcements to make sure that no other attack can happen.”
American President Barrack Obama also made a statement in solidarity from the White House shortly after the initial attacks.
“This is an attack not just on Paris. It’s an attack not just on the people of France. But this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share,” Obama told reporters. “This is a heartbreaking situation.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to address the nation on the Paris attacks at 5:30 p.m. PST. Ahead of the speech, Trudeau also released a statement on the attacks.
“I am shocked and saddened that so many people have been killed and injured today in a number of terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and that many others are being held hostage,” Trudeau said in a statement.
“Canada stands with France at this dark time and offers all possible assistance. We will continue to work closely with the international community to help prevent these terrible, senseless acts.”
The attacks occurred just two weeks before global leaders begin to descend on Paris for a climate summit. Earlier this year, terror also struck Paris when 17 people were killed during the attacks on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery store.
A spokesperson Vancouver International Airport told Vancity Buzz no flights to and from Paris have been affected by the attacks. The next scheduled flight is this Sunday.
Explosion in Paris can be heard while France-Germany match being played at stadium https://t.co/PupxMrbJ8f
— Athlete Swag (@AthleteSwag) November 13, 2015
[youtube id=”Nmtwk0rY9Dc”] [youtube id=”Y3ElLvOHVJc”]
Attack with gun in Paris near my apartment
— Thomas Michel (@thomasmichel_) November 13, 2015
My neighbourhood is currently under attack by armed gunman and there were explosions at the stadium. This is not a joke. Holy fuck. — دان (@phrawzty) November 13, 2015
Our block is under attack! We are safe. But our place, the most popular and friendly place in paris is devastaded
— RoWin’Atelier Paris (@winklerherve) November 13, 2015
People gather on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium in Paris following deadly attacks across the city pic.twitter.com/cJ7FvjAUGc
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) November 13, 2015
I am shocked by events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help. — David Cameron (@David_Cameron) November 13, 2015
Sad, devastated and anguished for my country.
— Gérard Araud (@GerardAraud) November 13, 2015