Skip to main content
Live |

LIVE BLOG: Deadly attacks strike heart of France

LIVE BLOG: Deadly attacks strike heart of France
Middle East Eye brings you live updates from the aftermath of Friday's deadly attacks in Paris, the bloodiest to hit Europe in over a decade

Summary of events so far:

- French police say 129 people were killed in two hours of highly co-ordinated attacks on Friday night

- Supporters of Islamic State have circulated a statement claiming responsibility for the attacks, warning of further violence to come

- President Hollande has vowed a "merciless response," with the Foreign Minister pledging to continue France's international action against Islamic State

- Security across Europe has been tightened, with an airport in the UK evacuated amid a bomb scare

Live Updates

Belgium's home affairs minister says IS communicates by using a Playstation 4
5 years ago

Belgium’s Home Affairs minister Jam Jambon reportedly warned that the Islamic State (IS) group uses the Playstation 4 game console to communicate with each other.

“PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp,” he said.

Back in June, police arrested a 14-year-old Austrian for downloading bomb plans onto his Playstation 4.

Paris 'would've been different' if French armed: Trump
5 years ago

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Saturday said the terror strikes in Paris that killed at least 129 "would have been different" if civilians had been armed.

"When you look at Paris, toughest gun laws in the world, nobody had guns but the bad guys," he said on the 2016 campaign trail in Texas, after a moment of silence for the dead in Friday's attacks on the French capital.

Trump, 69, a billionaire real estate developer who admits he sometimes carries a gun to protect himself, added: "Nobody had guns. And they were just shooting them one by one, and then they broke in and had a big shootout and ultimately killed the terrorists.

"And I will tell you what - you can say what you want, if they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation."

One of the attackers allegedly had a ticket to the football match
5 years ago

According to the US newspaper the Wall Street Journal, the first suicide bomber had a ticket to the football match and attempted to enter the stadium, quoting a Stade de France security guard.

The guard - who wished only to be identified by his first name, Zouheir – told the paper that guards discovered the attacker wearing an explosives vest while he was frisked at the stadium’s entrance around 15 minutes after the match began.

After the guards found out about his vest, the attacker detonated his vest, which was loaded with explosives, said Paris prosecutor François Molins. The frisking team at the gate briefed Zouheir, who was on duty to guard the tunnel used by players.

Musicians express shock over Paris attacks
5 years ago

The assault on one of the leading concert halls in Paris has sent shockwaves through the music world, with top-selling artists including U2 and Foo Fighters calling off shows.

"Shocked, sad and angry. We are all Parisian today," tweeted Peter Gabriel, one of many prominent musicians who took to social media after Friday's night coordinated attacks in the French capital.

More than 80 people were killed inside the Bataclan concert hall as gunmen opened fire during a performance by the California rock band Eagles of Death Metal, an attack for which the Islamic State group took responsibility.

France's Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin laid a bouquet of flowers Saturday in front of the Bataclan, a historic venue which is striking for its 19th-century chinoiserie architecture.

A short while earlier, an anonymous man brought a mobile keyboard near the entrance and played songs including John Lennon's pacifist anthem "Imagine" under the eye of a pack of photographers.

US student killed in Paris attacks
5 years ago

A US student from California was killed in the Paris attacks, her university said Saturday.

It was the first word of an American being among the victims of the Friday night massacre.

The State Department said separately that some Americans were wounded in the deadly attacks but it did not specify how many.

The student killed in the string of shootings and explosions was identified as Nohemi Gonzalez, a third-year design student at California State University, Long Beach.

She was in Paris doing a semester abroad, studying at Strate College of Design, the university said. The State Department said it could not immediately confirm the death.

Syrian activists denounce Paris attacks
5 years ago

Dozens of Syrian rebel groups on Saturday strongly denounced the Islamic State jihadist group's attacks on Paris as "against human values" in a joint online statement.

And Syrian activists, refugees, and civilians in the war-torn country expressed their solidarity with France in posts on social media.

Forty-nine armed factions in Syria, including the powerful Jaish al-Islam rebel groups, condemned "in the strongest terms" the Islamic State (IS) group's coordinated assault in Paris that killed at least 129 people.

"We learned today, with great shock and condemnation, about the terrorist attacks against civilians in the city of Paris," the joint statement said.

It called IS's actions "criminal attacks that are against (Islamic) laws and human values".

Most rebel groups in Syria fiercely oppose both the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and IS, which has declared a self-styled "caliphate" in parts of Syria and Iraq.

"This terrorism does not differ from the terrorism that the Syrian people have suffered from every day for the past five years," the groups said. 

They pledged to continue to "fight terrorism" and urged the international community to address the root cause of extremism in Syria.

"The real victim of the continuation of the Assad regime and its terrorist organisations is the whole world, not just the Syrian people," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Syrians around the world expressed their solidarity with the people of Paris online.

Activists from the northwest province of Idlib and from the IS-held city of Raqa overlaid their profile pictures on social media accounts with the French flag.

Residents of Douma, a rebel-held town east of Damascus frequently bombarded by Syria's regime, wrote an open letter to the French people.

"First, and before everything, we express our warm condolences to the French families who lost loved ones," the letter said.

"We condemn in the strongest of terms the targeting of civilians there and anywhere around the world," the residents wrote.

"We extend our hands to all the people that love peace and freedom, most of all the French people."

More than 250,000 people have been killed in the Syria conflict since March 2011.