Paris: Terrified survivors from the Paris concert hall targeted in a series of attacks on the French capital have described fleeing over bodies to hide after gunmen began executing rock fans in a barrage of automatic gunfire.
"It was horrible inside, a bloodbath, people shot in the head, people who were shot as they were lying on the ground," said a police officer who took part in the operation to storm the venue where 1,500 people had been attending a rock concert.
At least 82 people were killed in the concert hall by four black-clad attackers who opened fire with automatic weapons on the packed venue, sowing carnage and panic.
"At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood," said radio presenter Pierre Janaszak who was sitting in the balcony with his sister and friends when they heard shots from below about an hour into the concert.
"They didn't stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee."
They hid in a toilet where they would spend the next two hours waiting for police to storm the building.
"They had 20 hostages, and we could hear them talking with them," Janaszak said.
"I clearly heard them say 'It's the fault of Hollande, it's the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria'," he said.
The attack was claimed this morning by the Islamic State group.
By this morning, the historic venue known for hosting rock concerts was still cordoned off, its gaudy red-and-yellow facade giving little sign of the carnage inside, an AFP correspondent said.
One of the policemen involved in storming the venue returned early today, saying what had happened had not yet sunk in for him.
"I went back home to reassure my children. Now I've just come back as a person" to try and comprehend the horror, he told AFP, "to do sort of a personal debriefing. You simply cannot remain indifferent."
Outside a bright yellow sign reading 'Eagles' glowed intact and just in front stood the tour bus belonging to the Eagles of Death Metal, the US rock band that had been playing when the attackers struck.
"I don't understand!" said a local resident called Peggy, her eyes red. "This is a place where young people come to party."