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The world prays for Paris

By: Christian Duran

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On the evening of November 13, 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks consisting of mass shootings, suicide bombings, and hostage-taking occurred in Paris, France. The attacks began with six mass shootings in central Paris and three separate suicide bombings near the Stade de France occurred. The deadliest attack was at the Bataclan theatre, where attackers took hostages and engaged in a stand-off with police which lasted till the next day. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

 There has been reported that 129 victims were killed, 89 of them at the Bataclan theatre. 415 were admitted to hospital with injuries sustained in the attacks. In addition to the victims, seven attackers died, and the authorities continued to search for any accomplices remaining at large. The attacks were the deadliest in France since World War II and the deadliest in the European Union since the Madrid train bombings in 2004.

In response to the attacks, French President François Hollande announced a state of emergency, and placed temporary controls on the country’s borders.  President Hollande declared the attacks as “an act of war”. On November 15, France launched its largest single airstrike, its contribution to the anti-ISIL bombing campaign, by striking numerous targets in Syria in retaliation for the attacks. Prior to the attacks, France had been bombing targets at various locations in the Middle East including inside Syria since October 2015. ISIL’s motive was retaliation for French involvement in the Syrian Civil War and Iraqi Civil War. In the weeks leading up to the attacks, ISIL had claimed responsibility for several attacks, such as twin suicide bombings in Beirut two days earlier and the crashing of Metrojet Flight 9268 on October 31. France had been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including civilians and police officers.

President Barack Obama on Friday condemned the Paris terror attacks, calling them an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and pledging the U.S. government’s help to France. There has been an outpour of support for France after these terror attacks, especially on social media where people are showing their grief. The lights on the Eiffel Tower have been off since the attacks to mourn the lives that were lost.  ISIS has created a worldwide state of emergency; nobody feels safe anymore and will not until ISIS is done away with.

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