Paris: Gunmen and bombers attacked busy restaurants, bars and a concert hall at locations around Paris on Friday, killing nearly 140 people in what a shaken President Francois Hollande described as an unprecedented terrorist attack.
The apparently coordinated gun and bomb assault came as the country, a founder member of the US-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference due to open later this month.
Hollande, who was attending an international soccer match with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier when several explosions took place outside the national stadium, declared a state of emergency in the Paris region and announced the closure of France's borders to stop perpetrators escaping.
"This is a horror," the visibly shaken president said in a midnight television address to the nation before chairing an emergency cabinet meeting.
All emergency services were mobilised, police leave was cancelled and hospitals recalled staff to cope with the casualties.