An email late last night, Friday, November 13 from my friend who lives in Paris, assured me that while she was okay, she revealed that the French capital was under serious attack.
A series of coordinated attacks were taking place across the city as people went about their normal Friday evening business.
The working week complete some had gone to the football at the French national stadium, where France were playing Germany in a friendly. Some had taken the opportunity to attend a rock concert at Le Bataclan theatre, others relaxed in restaurants and bars around the 10th arrondissement. No one expected their night to turn into such frightening chaos.
“A kind of firecracker” Xavier Barrett speaking to the BBC reported hearing as he settled down to watch the France versus Germany match “ A very, very important firecracker and we tried to understand. After, we saw a helicopter over the stadium. President Hollande was in the official stand ...and two or three photographers are taking pictures of him and suddenly they stop...and we heard President Hollande get out of the stadium.”
The firecrackers that Xavier describes, of course, were shots being fired and explosions being carried out by terrorists as they conducted several orchestrated attacks around the centre of Paris. As the crowd inside the stadium settled down to watch football two suicide attacks and a bombing were taking place just outside.
Latest reports put the death toll at 128 with 99 seriously wounded from a night which will go down in history as France's worst attack since World War Two.
In total, six venues across the French city were targeted. A rock concert at Le Bataclan, where 1500 came under fire, restaurants and bars and bombs were detonated close to the Stade De Francais where France were playing Germany in an international friendly match.
Eyewitness Julian Pearce, who had been attending the rock concert described the terrorists as being very calm and determined.
On the streets of Paris 1500 extra #Military personnel have been deployed to support the police, while it has been revealed that the terrorists had expressed support for IS
French security forces later reported that eight of the terrorists had been killed, seven had blown themselves up while the other had been shot. Nevertheless, they were still seeking accomplices who they thought were hiding out in other parts of the city. #Terrorism