More than 130 are feared dead in Paris after Islamic State, also known as ISIS, launched a series of terrorist acts that paralyzed the city Friday evening.
The terror group that has been recruiting around the globe — including in the United States — and training its suicidal soldiers in Syria took responsibility for one of the bloodiest days in France’s history.
Official believe three teams of Islamic State attackers carried out the terrorist assault, including a gunman who was found with a Syrian passport.
“It is an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, Daesh, against France,” France President François Hollande told the world from the Élysée Palace, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “It is an act of war that was prepared, organized and planned from abroad, with complicity from the inside, which the investigation will help establish..We will lead the fight, and we will be ruthless.”
So far at least 352 others are injured with 99 in critical condition, officials say. One American is among the 129 dead. Authorities identified the victim as Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, of El Monte, California, a junior studying design in Paris for a semester while enrolled at California State University, Long Beach, CNN reported. Officials expect more Americans could be among the dead and injured.
The terrorist used AK-47 and wore suicide vests. It began at 9:20 p.m. when a terrorist detonated a bomb outside the gates of the soccer stadium on the northern outskirts of Paris. In a separate incident but acting in unions with the bomber, police stormed a concert venue featuring Eagles of Death Metal, shortly after midnight and killed one terrorist while the other two detonated suicide vests, but not before killing and wounding several concert goers by firing several rounds from an AK-47. In the concert hall, 89 victims were pronounced dead. The terrorists also fired into cafes and popular bars, killing dozens of patrons. Officials said there were six separate incidents. Seven terrorists were killed in the attack.
Investigators are still looking for others who may be connected and Belgian authorities made a number of arrests, CNN reported.
Pope Francis on Saturday morning called the terrorist attacks on Paris part of the “piecemeal Third World War.”
The Vatican issued this statement Friday:
“Here in the Vatican we are following the terrible news from Paris.
“We are shocked by this new manifestation of maddening, terrorist violence and hatred which we condemn in the most radical way together with the Pope and all those who love peace.
“We pray for the victims and the wounded, and for all the French people.
“This is an attack on peace for all humanity, and it requires a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread the homicidal hatred in all of its forms.”
In a telephone interview to Italian television channel TV2000, the Pope said:
“I am close to the people of France, to the families of the victims, and I am praying for all of them. I am moved and I am saddened. I do not understand, these things hard to understand…There is no religious or human justification for it.”
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