France Strikes Back with Airstrikes in Syria and Anti-Terror Raids at Home: Everything We Know About the Paris Tragedy
Paris is still in the process of recovering after Friday night’s devastating series of coordinated attacks which left at least 129 dead and 352 injured. As information about the attacks, the aftermath and the victims continues to filter in, PEOPLE has rounded up the ongoing coverage of the horrific events. Read on for a breakdown of what we know about the the attacks and check back for the latest information.
According to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, the attacks were carried out by three teams and struck six different sites, all focused on the northern portion of Paris and a suburb just north of the city.
The attackers struck several restaurants – La Belle Equipe, La Petit Cambodge, La Casa Nostra and nearby Cafe Bonne Biere as well as Le Carillon. Attackers also targeted Paris concert hall Bataclan, where American band Eagles of Death Metal was performing. A group of three attackers also detonated suicide bombs outside Stade de France, where a soccer game between France and Germany was taking place. President Francois Hollande was present at the stadium when the first bomb was detonated outside the game. According to a security guard, he discovered an explosives vest on one of the attackers while searching him before entering the stadium. The attacker then backed away and detonated his bomb.
On Saturday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks and President Francois Hollande blamed them for the events, calling it an “act of war.”
The Scope of Death and Destruction
As of Saturday, French officials confirmed that at least 129 people had died and 352 were injured, 99 of which are in critical condition. The deadliest attack by far was inside Bataclan, where at least 89 people were killed. According to eyewitness accounts, the attackers, one of whom sounded like a native French speaker said, “You killed our brothers in Syria.”
An eyewitness from the attacks at Le Petit Equipe told PEOPLE he saw dead people still sitting at tables and clutching their glasses.
“I went into the restaurant and I can never forget what I saw,” the witness said. “I will never understand, never comprehend what I saw. I can’t. I saw people seated in the restaurant. Dead.”
As of Sunday morning, French officials had identified two of the now-deceased attackers – French citizen Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, whom the French authorities had been monitoring since 2010, and a 25-year-old man who was carrying a Syrian passport. According to the passport, he had entered the European Union through Greece in early October. It is believed he was posing as a Syrian refugee.
Belgium authorities also reported on Saturday that they had arrested three people in connection with the attacks. They are allegedly linked to a suspicious car that was seen outside Bataclan.
On Sunday, an international arrest warrant was issued for a man who is believed to either be one of the Paris attackers or directly connected to the attacks. He was identified as Abdeslam Salah, a 26-year-old man born in Brussels, a brother of one of the attackers who died on Friday as well as another brother who is being questioned by police.
As victims continue to be identified by the authorities, more information is coming out about the deceased. The first identified American victim was 23-year-old California State University, Long Beach, student Nohemi Gonzalez. She was in Paris studying design for a semester abroad. Gonzalez was killed while out to dinner with her friends.
Another victim was 36-year-old British man Nick Alexander who was working as a merch manager for Eagles of Death Metal when he was killed inside Bataclan.
Paris in Mourning
The French government announced a state of emergency in France after the attacks, closing the borders. They also announced further measures for Ile-de-France, the province where Paris is located, saying all theaters and public meeting places had to stay closed and no public demonstrations could take place. They also announced they would arrest anyone who was deemed dangerous and everyone had to submit to searches and hand over their weapons.
While demonstrations were banned, Parisians still gathered outside to show sympathy and support for the victims. Memorials popped up outside the attack sites and the mood was lifted when an unidentified man brought out a piano to play John Lennon’s “Imagine” outside Bataclan on Saturday.
One official memorial that took place during the time of mourning was a special reception at Notre Dame on Sunday evening.
The World’s Response
President Barack Obama said on Friday that the United States would stand by France for whatever they would need. He added, “This is a heartbreaking situation and obviously those of us here in the United States know what it’s like. We’ve gone through these kinds of episodes ourselves.” Royals and leaders from around the world also shared their sympathy for France and messages of support.
Celebrities also flooded social media with messages of support, using the popular hashtag #prayforparis. Irish band U2, who were in Paris during the attacks, also made a Saturday night visit to the Bataclan memorial that had been set up.
France Responds with Strength
French police have raided more than 150 locations since the attacks Friday night in a series of anti-terror raids across the nation. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told local media that 23 people have been arrested and another 104 detained for questioning, according to NBC News.
The raids turned up numerous guns, bulletproof vests and even a rocket launcher, local media reports.
“This is just the beginning. The response of France will be total. Those who attack France, we will catch them and we will be unrelenting with them … Terrorists will never destroy the Republic, because the Republic will destroy them,” Cazeneuve said, according to NBC.
On Sunday, a dozen French warplanes launched a series of airstrikes against an ISIS command center in Raqqa, Syria, in retaliation for the terror attacks, according to the French Ministry of Defense.
The attacks, which came from air bases in Jordan and and the United Arab Emirates, saw 20 bombs dropped on the command center, a weapons depot and a training camp.
How to Help
TIME has rounded up a few ways people can help the victims in Paris, including donating to Red Cross, which has mobilized volunteers on the scene and local Parisian charities.
Keep checking back for more updates on the Paris attacks.