While the world sits glued to their television sets, watching the terrifying aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, and throngs of people change their social media pictures to the French flag in a show of solidarity with the country reeling from the attacks, French president Francois Hollande has stepped up and vowed “merciless” revenge on those who attacked Paris last night.
After the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Paris terror attacks in a widely-circulated statement released online in both French and Arabic, Hollande spoke at an emergency meeting of senior government and security officials, where he called the terror attacks, “cowardly,” and declared three days of national mourning for the more than 120 victims of the Friday night massacre.
In the statement made by Islamic State militants claiming responsibility for the attacks, one of the militants, identified as Abu Maryam the Frenchman, stated in the video that the reason for the Paris attacks is France’s continued bombings of Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq, according to London Evening Standard.
“As long as you keep bombing you will not live in peace. You will even fear travelling to the market.”
Following the emergency meeting, Hollande made a statement concerning the Paris terror attacks, calling for “unity and courage” from the people of France, stating, “even if France is wounded, she will rise.” He then made a vow to the people of his beloved country that the Islamic State will feel France’s wrath, promising “merciless” counter-actions against those responsible for the Paris terror attacks.
“[France] will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group. [We] will act by all means anywhere, inside or outside the country.”
Hollande added that France will do whatever necessary to fight “the terrorist menace.”
"When Paris turned out its lights, the rest of the world turned them on." pic.twitter.com/rdDQ0G1zH7— Pics with a Story (@Picswithastory) November 14, 2015
During the Paris terror attacks, Hollande closed the country’s boarders and raised the nation’s security to its highest level. He called the carnage — which saw more than 120 people dead, and hundreds more injured — “an act of war that was prepared, organized, planned from abroad with internal help,” reported Associated Press.
French authorities are saying there were at least eight attackers, seven of whom died in suicide bombings while the eighth was shot and killed by police. Although, Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said that authorities couldn’t rule out the possibility that there were others involved in the attacks that were still at large.
Friday night’s terror attacks in Paris were committed by at least eight Islamic State militants who orchestrated six bomb and gun attacks throughout the city. Three suicide bombs went off near the Stade de France stadium, where three or possibly four people were killed; gun-toting militants targeted a string of cafes in a trendy Paris neighborhood, where at least 37 people were killed; another suicide bomber detonated his bomb on Boulevard Voltaire near the Bataclan music hall.
At the scene of the worst of the carnage — the Bataclan music hall, where American band Eagles of Death Metal were playing to a sold out crowd — ISIS militants stormed the hall, shooting randomly into the crowd and taking hostages, before three more suicide bombs were detonated. At least 87 people were killed and countless more were injured at the venue. The band itself is reported to be safe, according to updates on the band’s Facebook page.
In the midst the terror attacks, Parisians united by taking to Twitter and offering safe houses to anyone finding themselves stranded on the streets of Paris last night. The hashtag #PorteOuvert (meaning #OpenDoor) was born amid the tragedy, proving that despite the terror, Paris, and France as a whole, would not be torn apart and its citizens will continue to stand united. As Hollande said, “France will rise again.”
[Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images]