120 killed in Paris shootings, several taken hostage- State of emergency declared

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At least 120 persons were confirmed dead in multiple shootings in Paris which has forced France to declare a national state of emergency. Several persons have been taken hostage as well.The actual death count is still unclear and some media outlets have reported that the toll could rise.

Scores of people have been killed near the Bataclan arts centre, where severa persons were held hostage, French media say. Three people were killed in a separate attack at the Stade de France, a senior football official said. Military personnel are being deployed across Paris while authorities have asked people to stay indoors, the BBC reports.

100 killed in Paris terror attack.
The deadliest attack appears to have targeted the Bataclan concert hall. Several ambulances have arrived at the scene, suggesting many victims inside.

Other attacks hit Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in the 11th district where a BBC reporter could see 10 people lying on the road, either dead or seriously injured. Another hit Le Carillon bar not too far away.

Three explosions were reported outside a bar near the Stade de France, as well as a blast inside.

An eyewitness said he had heard more than 100 rounds being fired at a cafe in rue de Charonne. There are reports of up to six gunmen involved and none have been arrested so far.

No clarity on attackers:

The French have long suspected that it could returnees from Syria who could have carried out the attack. The French police say that the attacks were coordinated and could have been planned in well in advance. However there is not confirmation on who could have carried out these attacks, CNN reports. Paris police say there were three attacks. Attackers reportedly used AK-47 automatic weapons.

The attacks, whose motive was not immediately clear, came less than a year after jihadist gunmen killed 17 people in attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket. French authorities have been on high alert since the January attacks, and the country has been named as a priority target by Islamic State militants. Several attacks have been foiled since January.

Widespread condemnation:

US President Barack Obama condemned the series of deadly attacks across Paris Friday as an "attack on all of humanity" and pledged to work with France to bring those responsible to justice.

"Whenever these kinds of attacks happen, we've always been able to count on the French people to stand with us. They have been an extraordinary counterterrorism partner. And we intend to be there with them in that same fashion," Obama said in a brief speech from the White House.

France 24 television said that president Francois Hollande had been at the Stade de France and was taken out of the area. Hollande and his interior minister rushed were rushing from the football match to the ministry to deal with the unfolding situation, an official said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted, "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."

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