News reports have offered changing versions of what took place in Paris. Here’s a look at what those reports say now:
Officially, the death toll now stands at 129, including seven terrorists, six of whom killed themselves with suicide vests (authorities originally said eight terrorists had been killed). An estimated 352 people were wounded, 99 of whom are in critical condition, according to the French newspaper Le Monde.
TIMELINE AND NATURE OF THE ATTACKS
The attacks consisted of eight assaults in six locations, including three suicide bombers who exploded themselves outside the national soccer stadium in the suburb of Saint-Denis, oddly enough apparently killing only themselves. The deadliest attack took place at the Bataclan concert hall, where three gunmen killed at least 89 people; two of those gunmen killed themselves by setting off their explosive vests, the third was killed by police.
The other attacks consisted of gunfire sprayed at patrons at three popular night spots, apparently by a single terrorist who drove past the locations between 9:25 and 9:43 p.m., when he killed himself at a fourth location by exploding his suicide vest. At least 38 people died in these attacks, most of them diners seated on restaurant patios, but the gunmen killed no one but himself at his final stop.
The first attack, a suicide bomber who exploded across the street from the soccer stadium, came at around 9:20 p.m., at about the same time that a gunman opened fire on diners at the Petit Cambodge restaurant. The final attack came at 9:53 p.m., when a bomber blew himself up at a McDonald’s restaurant a few blocks from the stadium, also apparently killing no one but himself.
The siege of the Bataclan lasted until 12:20 a.m. Saturday, when police stormed the building.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the explosion. In a statement posted to the Internet Saturday, it called Paris “the capital of prostitution and obscenity” and warned that there were more attacks to come. The statement did not identify the attackers, but called them “brothers” and said they were “youths who divorced the world and went to their enemy seeking to be killed in the cause of Allah.”
Reports say French police used fingerprints to identify one of the attackers as French citizen, Ismael Omar Mostefai, who was born in 1985 and was on a watch list of Islamist radicals. Three others of the attackers were believed to have lived in Belgium. Police also found a parking ticket from Belgium inside the car that apparently had been used in the attack. Police there arrested three people they said were linked to the attacks.
The six locations where the terrorists struck were places that could be expected to be filled with people on a Friday night and seemed to have been selected to reinforce the idea of Western decadence against Islamic piety. “Hundreds of apostates had gathered in a profligate prostitution party” at the Bataclan concert hall, the statement said, and the national stadium was the site of a friendly match between “the Crusader German and French teams, where the fool of France, Francois Hollande, was present,” the statement said.
The French government ordered a curfew, the first since World War II, and reimposed immigration checks at the borders, which previously allowed free passage between its European neighbors. Reports indicated that police were rounding up suspects both in France and in neighboring Belgium. The Parisian city government closed schools and other facilities on Saturday and banned public demonstrations. The government declared three days of mourning.