Eight ISIS terrorists wielding AK-47s and wearing suicide belts carried out coordinated attacks at six sites around Paris Friday night, killing at least 127 people and wounding at least 180 others, prompting French President Francois Hollande to condemn the attack as an “act of war” and vow that France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group.”
Speaking after an emergency security meeting to plan his government’s response, Hollande declared three days of national mourning and raised France’s security to its highest level. Hollande said ISIS was “a terrorist army … a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.”
France is already bombing ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition, and has troops fighting extremists in Africa.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks and a Syrian passport was found on the body of suicide bomber at the Paris stadium. French authorities are urging any witnesses to come forward. One of the bombers was a young Frenchman previously flagged for links to Islamic extremism, police said. The man was among the attackers who blew himself up after a rampage and hostage-taking in a Paris concert hall, officials said.