Islamic State claims Paris attacks that killed 129

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Hollande: Islamic State Group Behind Attacks

Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for a coordinated assault by gunmen and bombers that killed 129 people at locations across Paris, which President Francois Hollande said amounted to an act of war against France.

In the worst attack, a Paris city hall official said four gunmen systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people at a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall before anti-terrorist commandos launched an assault on the building. Dozens of survivors were rescued, and bodies were still being recovered on Saturday morning.

SEE MORE: 129 people dead in Paris, deadliest attacks since WWII

The assaults came as France, a founder member of the U.S.-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks.

It was the worst such attack in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, in which 191 died.

Hollande said the attacks had been organized from abroad by Islamic State "barbarians", with internal help. Sources close to the investigation said a Syrian passport had been found near the body of one of the suicide bombers.

"Faced with war, the country must take appropriate action," Hollande said after an emergency meeting of security chiefs. He also announced three days of national mourning.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy added in a statement: "The war we must wage should be total."

See more from the scene:

20 PHOTOS
Paris terror attack scene, shootings, bombings
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Islamic State claims Paris attacks that killed 129
People run after hearing what is believed to be explosions or gun shots near Place de la Republique square in Paris on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in several shootings and explosions in Paris today, police said. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Spectators gather on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 15 people killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: French officials and medics work near Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district after a drive-by shooting killing 11 people, November 14, 2015, Paris, France. At least 142 people were killed deadly shootings and explosions took place in several neighbourhoods of Paris. 1,500 troops deployed in French capital says Elysse. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Two men evacuate the Place de la Republique square in Paris as a police officer looks on, after several shootings on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in several shootings and explosions in Paris today, police said. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Police survey the area of Boulevard Baumarchais after an attack in the French capital on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 18 people were killed in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)
Rescuers rush to the scene following an attack in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris, on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed as multiple shootings and explosions hit Paris, police said. Police also said there was an ongoing hostage crisis in the Bataclan a concert hall in the French capital. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: French officials and medics work near Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district after a drive-by shooting killing 11 people, November 14, 2015, Paris, France. At least 142 people were killed deadly shootings and explosions took place in several neighbourhoods of Paris. 1,500 troops deployed in French capital says Elysse. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A firefighter attend to an injured person lying on a stretcher near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. At least 39 people were killed in an 'unprecedented' series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
People are evacuated by bus, near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. More than 100 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall on November 13 and many more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared a national state of emergency. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: U.S. President Barack Obama departs the White House briefing room after delivering remarks on the recent violence taking place in Paris, France November 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. Gunfire and explosions erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Football fans leave the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 15 people killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
supporters run in panic on the pitch during the International friendly match between France and Germany on November 13, 2015 at the Stade France in Paris, France.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
Police are seen outside a cafe-restaurant in 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris, on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed as multiple shootings and explosions hit Paris, police said. Police also said there was an ongoing hostage crisis in the Bataclan a concert hall in the French capital. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A policeman stands behind a cordon blocking the street near the site of an attack in a restaurant in Paris on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in multiple attacks in Paris Friday, including one near the Stade de France sports stadium and another at a concert venue. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A victim lies on the ground covered by a white sheet (Rear L) as special police work at the attack scene rue Bichat, in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. More than 100 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall late on November 13 and many more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared a national state of emergency. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters and rescuers evacuate injured people near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 14, 2015. At least 39 people were killed in an 'unprecedented' series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
People are evacuated following an attack at the Bataclan concert venue in Paris, on November 13, 2015. At least 18 people were killed in multiple attacks in Paris Friday, including one near the Stade de France sports stadium. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
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During a visit to Vienna, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said "we are witnessing a kind of medieval and modern fascism at the same time."

In its claim of responsibility, Islamic State said the attacks were a response to France's campaign against its fighters.

It also distributed an undated video in which a militant said France would not live peacefully as long it took part in U.S.-led bombing raids against them.

"As long as you keep bombing you will not live in peace. You will even fear traveling to the market," said a bearded Arabic-speaking militant, flanked by other fighters.

Six attackers blew themselves up and one was shot by police. There may have been an eighth attacker, but this was not confirmed.

The attacks, in which automatic weapons and explosives belts were used, lasted 40 minutes.

"The terrorists, the murderers, raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering (the concert hall). There were many victims in terrible, atrocious conditions in several places," police prefect Michel Cadot told reporters.

World leaders react to attacks:

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World Leaders react to Paris terrorist attack
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Islamic State claims Paris attacks that killed 129
Terrorists have declared war on the France. Our response must express a firmness and determination of each moment. -NS
.@POTUS: Paris attack was "attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share" https://t.co/N7lFpdZiMZ https://t.co/Wdcvof6lYI
#UNSG Ban Ki-moon condemns despicable terrorist attacks in #Paris; demands immediate release of those held hostage: https://t.co/dNNWohKXCM
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.
I am shocked and saddened that so many people have been killed and injured in violent attacks in #Paris. Canada stands with France.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is "deeply shaken" by Paris attacks. https://t.co/kcbJNCK81D
The reports from Paris are harrowing. Praying for the city and families of the victims. -H
I am deeply shocked by horrific Paris attacks. We stand together with the people of #France. Terrorism will never defeat democracy.
U.S. will support French people in any way we can & continue to stand for liberté, égalité, fraternité.
I am deeply shocked by the events in Paris. We stand in full solidarity with the people of France.
JUST IN: US SecDef Ash Carter's statement https://t.co/hWWQBGNFIN
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STATE OF EMERGENCY

After being whisked from the stadium near the blasts, Hollande declared a national state of emergency, the first since World War Two. Border controls were temporarily reimposed to stop perpetrators escaping.

Local sports events were suspended, department stores closed, the rock band U2 canceled a concert, and schools, universities and municipal buildings were ordered to stay shut on Saturday. Some rail and air services were expected to run.

Sylvestre, a young man who was at the Stade de France when bombs went off there, said he was saved by his cellphone, which he was holding to his ear when debris hit it.

"This is the cell phone that took the hit, it's what saved me," he said. "Otherwise my head would have been blown to bits," he said, showing the phone with its screen smashed.

French newspapers spoke of "carnage" and "horror". Le Figaro's headline said: "War in the heart of Paris" on a black background with a picture of people on stretchers.

Emergency services were mobilized, police leave was canceled, 1,500 army reinforcements were drafted into the Paris region and hospitals recalled staff to cope with the casualties.

Citizens of Paris react to the attacks with open doors:

11 PHOTOS
Paris Terrorism: #PorteOuverte, Open Door
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Islamic State claims Paris attacks that killed 129
The #PorteOuverte hashtag expresses a comforting reminder that amongst all this madness, goodness still lies in people across the world.
#PorteOuverte and the free taxi-fare stories show that even in its darkest of moments, humanity is overwhelmingly about cooperation & love
I have room for stranded people near chatelet. Tell me if you're in need, #PorteOuverte.
The concept of #PorteOuverte, the idea of people opening up their homes tonight to help strangers, is the best thought to go to bed on.
English speaking #PorteOuverte in Paris 15th district.
You're welcome to our home if you're afraid of going home through Paris and are near La Vilette #porteouverte
#PorteOuverte I'm in the 7th if someone needs a place to crash
#PorteOuverte For the french, i give my home. Contact Me
How strange it is that in times of such gross inhumanity, the rest of humanity shines through so bright #PorteOuverte ❤️
#PorteOuverte hashtags like this make me keep my faith in humanity.
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Radio stations warned Parisians to stay at home and urged residents to give shelter to anyone caught out in the street.

The deadliest attack was on the Bataclan, a popular concert venue where the Californian rock group Eagles of Death Metal was performing. Some witnesses in the hall said they heard the gunmen shout Islamic chants and slogans condemning France's role in Syria.

The hall is near the former offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. France has been on high alert since Islamist gunmen attacked the paper and a kosher supermarket in January, killing 18 people.

Those attacks briefly united France in defense of freedom of speech, with a mass demonstration of more than a million people. But that unity has since broken down, with far-right populist Marine Le Pen gaining on both mainstream parties by blaming immigration and Islam for France's security problems.

It was not clear what political impact the latest attacks would have less than a month before regional elections in which Le Pen's National Front is set to make further advances.

The governing Socialist Party and the National Front suspended their election campaigns.

U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel led a global chorus of solidarity with France. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the "despicable attacks" while Pope Francis called the killings "inhuman".

France ordered increased security at its sites abroad. Italy, Russia, Belgium, Hungary and the Netherlands also tightened security measures.

Poland, meanwhile, said that the attacks meant it could not now take its share of migrants under a European Union plan. Many of the migrants currently flooding into Europe are refugees from Syria.

Julien Pearce, a journalist from Europe 1 radio, was inside the concert hall when the shooting began. In an eyewitness report posted on the station's website, Pearce said several very young individuals, who were not wearing masks, entered the hall during the concert, armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and started "blindly shooting at the crowd".

"There were bodies everywhere," he said.

POINT-BLANK

The gunmen shot their victims in the back, finishing some off at point-blank range before reloading their guns and firing again, Pearce said, after escaping into the street by a stage door, carrying a wounded girl on his shoulder.

Toon, a 22-year-old messenger who lives near the Bataclan, was going into the concert hall with two friends at around 10.30 p.m. (2130 GMT) when he saw three young men dressed in black and armed with machine guns. He stayed outside.

One of the gunmen began firing into the crowd. "People were falling like dominoes," he told Reuters. He saw people shot in the leg, shoulder and back, with several lying on the floor, apparently dead.

Two explosions were heard near the Stade de France in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis, where the France-Germany soccer match was being played. A witness said one of the detonations blew people into the air outside a McDonald's restaurant opposite the stadium.

In central Paris, shooting erupted in mid-evening outside a Cambodian restaurant in the capital's 10th district.

Eighteen people were killed when a gunman opened fire on Friday night diners sitting at outdoor terraces in the popular Charonne area nearby in the 11th district.

The prosecutor mentioned five locations in close proximity where shootings took place around the same time.

More on the attacks:
Reaction from around the world to Paris attacks
Parisians open their doors to strangers with hashtag #PorteOuverte
Celebrities react to Paris attacks on Twitter

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