Massacre in Paris: ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attacks as French President Hollande Vows a 'Ruthless' Response
The Islamic State (ISIS) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the coordinated wave of attacks in Paris on Friday evening that has reportedly left at least 128 dead, according to the latest figures.
According to The New York Times, ISIS said in a press release on Saturday that the attacks are the “first of the storm” and mocked the country as a “capital of prostitution and obscenity.”
French President Francois Hollande blamed ISIS for the attacks in a press conference at the site of the Bataclan concert hall – the bloodiest attack site where at least 82 people have died, according to the most recent figures.
“It’s an act of war, committed by a terrorist army Daesh [ISIS], an army of Jihadists, against France,” Hollande said. He added that the attackers were intent on killing as many people as possible and vowed that France will be “ruthless” in its response.
In a press conference on Friday night, President Barack Obama said that the United States would stand with France and they are “ready to provide whatever assistance the government and the people of France need to respond.
According to French TV station BFM TV, police have estimated that at least 128 are dead and over 180 people are injured, with 80 people being in critical condition.
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The French government has issued a state of emergency and announced that they would be closing their borders. They also said that they would be issuing enhanced security measures in Ile-de-France (the province where Paris is located), which includes the arrest of any person whose actions the police deem dangerous and the temporary closure of all theaters and public meeting spaces. Citizens must surrender all weapons to the police and submit to searches.
Additionally, a three-day period of national mourning has been declared. The French Senate and National Assembly will convene in special session at Versailles on Monday and all demonstrations are banned in Paris until Thursday, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.
The city of Paris has been coming together and mourning the loss of loved ones in the wake of the attacks.
Floral displays laid by hundreds of teary-eyed neighbors have been to stack up in front of the pulled-down iron shutters of La Belle Equipe, a restaurant in the 10th arrondisement that was one of the attack sites.
“I saw people die. I had people die in my arms,” an eyewitness tells PEOPLE. “There wasn’t anything you could do.”