Terror in Paris

Terror in Paris

By Brad Banaszynski

Terror struck the city of Paris, France on the night of November 13th as gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a major stadium, a concert hall, and a number of restaurants leaving nearly 130 people dead. The first of the three locations of the attacks was outside of the Stade de France stadium where France was playing Germany in an international friendly soccer match. The attackers were equipped with explosive vests and detonated the bombs one after another outside of the stadium. The game was being broadcasted on live television, and after the explosions were confirmed to be an attack, the players were rushed to their locker rooms and the spectators rushed onto the field for safety.

The next attack took place not long after in a popular district near the center of town.  Witnesses described to the authorities after the chaos had ended how a man crossed the road and turned toward a restaurant and opened fire. Over a hundred rounds of ammunition were shot into the restaurant and fifteen people were killed along with many others injured.

The deadliest of the numerous attacks that night occurred at the concert hall where a 1,500-seat venue was sold out to see a band play. It had been confirmed after the fact that there were three attackers wearing belts lined with explosives that took down the concert hall. The attackers arrived to the scene together and rushed into the concert hall and began to fire assault rifles into the crowd. The chaos ensued as a police officer shot one of the attackers, which detonated his suicide belt. The other two terrorists followed by detonating their own belts. This attack resulted in 89 deaths and at least a hundred others that were rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

France had declared a state of emergency, for the first time since 2005, deploying 1,500 troops to safeguard key buildings. The city had become a ghost town. Paris landmarks were vacated immediately and schools, libraries, and food markets all closed.

The attackers were under the direction of Abdelhamis Abaaoud, who was tracked down and killed in a police raid a few days after the attacks. Multiple of the attackers had ties to Belgium and were natives of the district of Brussels. The men were radical Islamists with ties to the terrorist group ISIS.

The lights of the Eiffel Tower went dark the following Saturday night to mourn the victims of the string of terrorist attacks. However, as Paris went dark for the night, the rest of the world lit up in France’s national colors. Dozens of landmarks from countries all over the world displayed  the Red, White, and Blue of the French national flag.

Photo courtesy of nbcnews.com