Friday, November 13, 2015 10:47 pm
No fewer than 18 people have been killed by a lone gunman in central Paris.
The gunman wielded a Kalashnikov and shot sporadically at people
It was also reported by the AFP that hostages have been taken at Paris Bataclan concert hall, police say. And there were explosions outside the stadium where France was hosting Germany in a friendly.
Police said a hostage scenario was ongoing at the venue, which is in an area known for its busy nightlife.
Three people were killed in an explosion outside the Stade de France north of the capital, police said, during a match between Germany and France.
Spectators flooded the pitch as news of the attacks spread. Organisers started evacuating the stadium by three doors.
Another attack was reported at the Petit Cambodge restaurant, not far from the Bataclan venue.
An AFP reporter outside the Bataclan said there were armed police and some 20 police wagons with their lights flashing around the scene.
Stunned onlookers had begun to emerge from nearby bars, while many others continued to eat their meals in restaurants, apparently unaware of the carnage that had taken place only a few metres away.
President Francois Hollande and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced that a crisis cell had been set up.
“The president of the Republic, the prime minister, the interior minister are in a inter-ministerial crisis cell,” the government said in a statement.
France has been on high alert since the jihadist attacks in January against Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket that left 17 dead.
Several other attacks have been foiled through the year.
More than 500 French fighters are thought to be with IS in Syria and Iraq, according to official figures, while 250 have returned and some 750 expressed a desire to go there.
*Reported by AFP