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State of emergency in Paris after series of deadly attacks

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Paris was devastated Friday night by a coordinated series of shootings and explosions that killed at least 80 inside a concert hall and dozens more outside a sports stadium and at least four other locations throughout the city.

French President François Hollande has declared a state of emergency across France and ordered the country’s borders closed after the deadliest violence to strike the country in decades. The head of Paris police said late Friday that all attackers are believed to be dead.

The worst violence occurred at the Bataclan concert hall, where the American Band Eagles of Death Metal was playing. In a two-hour standoff with police, gunmen took hostages and shot into the crowded theater, according to witness reports. At least three attackers were killed, and the siege ended after French security forces raided the venue.

Reuters reporter Mathais Blamont was in the neighborhood as the attack unfolded. He spoke with PBS NewsHour’s P.J. Tobia about the aftermath of the situation.


Blamont spoke with Tobia from his cell phone at roughly 8:30 p.m. EST.

Jenny Watson was on the first floor of the Bataclan when the shooting began, according to the New York Times. She described the attack to France 24:

“At first we heard gunshots,” she said. “They were quite high pitched. At first I thought it was a joke… The shots kept going and going and going and people started screaming and ducking, hiding behind the chairs. That’s when we knew we needed to get out.”

Witness Julien Pearce, who told CNN he escaped while the gunmen were reloading, called it a “bloodbath.”

Officials in France also reported multiple shootings at a Cambodian restaurant in the 11th arrondissement in Paris and at least two explosions near the Stade de France national stadium, where France and Germany were playing a soccer match and President Hollande was in attendance. Hollande was evacuated from the stadium.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The event is still unfolding, and the death toll changing.

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This tweet from a production assistant with a French TV station says: “Shots at the Kalash in Little Cambodia in the 10th arrondissement in Paris and several dead. An emergency crew and police are on site”

This comes just 10 months after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, when two Islamist gunmen killed 11 people at the office of the French satirical magazine.

A mandatory curfew has been issued in Paris, the first since 1944, Associated Press reports.

In Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama called the attacks a heartbreaking situation and “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”

The hashtag #PorteOuverte has been trending on Twitter. It is being used by Parisians to offer shelter to those who might not feel safe going home Friday night. Others have been using it to express condolences on the incident.

French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris. Photo by Christian Hartmann/Reuters

French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris. Photo by Christian Hartmann/Reuters

The last time a state of emergency was declared in France was in 2005 after a series of riots that began in the Parisian suburbs.

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