Paris/Chilliwack (With files from Associated Press) – LOCAL UPDATE -Paula DeWit, the Music Director and Conductor of the CSO Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra took to Facebook to say her brother and sister in law are in Paris and are OK
Vancouver Musician A.J. Riot , a friend of FVN also took to Facebook to let our staff know she is safe – ” I f****** hate terrorism. Another update, thanks for everyone writing… We are safe in Paris. Keep sending love.” and she could have been at the Eagles of Death Metal concert that was targeted “Don, was about to buy tickets for that show a week before I left for Paris. As a gift for my best friends birthday. I wasn’t at the show but I could have been. That one thing just made my jaw drop. I’m two miles from there, my friend rented us an apartment…”
730AM Saturday Update –At Least 127 People Killed in Attacks Across City; Several Attackers Dead, Officials Say
We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew. Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation.
9PM Friday Update – French President François Hollande vowed to launch a “ruthless” retaliation after at least 150 people were killed in multiple deadly attacks around Paris, including at a music hall where dozens were held hostage.
At least six separate attacks occurred at multiple sites around the capital Friday. These included the hostage taking at the Bataclan music venue on Voltaire Blvd. in the 11th arrondissement in central Paris, shootings at two restaurants and explosions outside a stadium that might have been the result of two suicide attacks.
French police said they believe all of the attackers involved in the shootings and bombings are dead. The Associated Press reported that eight militants had been killed, seven of them in suicide bombings.
The Paris prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre told The Associated Press that the eighth attacker was killed by security forces at the concert hall.
6PM Friday ORIGINAL STORY – A French police official says at least 100 people have been killed inside a Paris concert hall where attackers seized hostages.
The hostage-taking was one in a series of at least six attacks across the French capital.
A police official said 11 people were killed in a Paris restaurant in the 10th arrondissement, and others said at least twice that number died elsewhere, primarily in the Bataclan concert hall, where the hostages were taken. It was unclear how many people were in the hall; one official said there were around 100 while another said there were far fewer.
Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Two police officials say at least 11 people have been killed in shootouts and other violence around Paris. Police have reported shootouts in at least two restaurants in Paris. At least two explosions have been heard near the Stade de France stadium, and French media is reporting of a hostage-taking in the capital.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named in the quickly moving investigation.
Also late Friday, two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium north of Paris during a France-Germany friendly football match.
A police official confirmed one explosion in a bar near the stadium. It was not known if there were casualties.
An Associated Press reporter in the stadium Friday night heard two explosions loud enough to penetrate the sounds of cheering fans. Sirens were immediately heard, and a helicopter was circling overhead.
Kamloops music store owner Mike Miltimore was only steps from where the shootout occurred. Miltimore says he was in downtown Paris having dinner with a guitar designer when the shots rang out. He says the restaurant was evacuated and he was sent home to his hotel only blocks away. “Police came in with machine guns and everything like that and they’re shoo-ing everybody out of the streets and it’s … it’s actually a little scary when you don’t know what’s going on.”
The attack comes as France has heightened security measures ahead of a major global climate conference that starts in two weeks, out of fear of violent protests and potential terrorist attacks.
Emilioi Macchio, from Ravenna, Italy, was at the Carillon bar near the restaurant that was targeted, having a beer on the sidewalk, when the shooting started. He said he didn’t see any gunmen or victims, but hid behind a corner, then ran away.
“It sounded like fireworks,” he said.
France has been on edge since deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in January on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery that left 20 dead, including the three attackers.
The restaurant targeted Friday, Le Carillon, is in the same general neighbourhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices, as is the Bataclan, among the best-known venues in eastern Paris, near the trendy Oberkampf area known for a vibrant nightlife.
The country remains on edge after January attacks on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. The Charlie Hebdo attackers claimed links to extremists in Yemen, while the kosher market attacker claimed ties to the Islamic State group.
The country has seen several smaller-scale attacks or attempts since, including an incident on a high-speed train in August in which American travellers thwarted an attempted attack by a heavily armed man.
France’s military is bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq and fighting extremists in Africa, and extremist groups have frequently threatened France in the past.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks.
French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who have travelled to Syria and returned home with skills to stage violence.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today issued the following statement:
“I am shocked and saddened that so many people have been killed and injured today in a number of terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and that many others are being held hostage.
“As the situation continues to unfold, Sophie and I join all Canadians in extending our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed. It is our sincere hope that the hostages are freed unharmed as soon as possible. We also wish a speedy recovery to all those who have been injured.
“Canada stands with France at this dark time and offers all possible assistance. We will continue to work closely with the international community to help prevent these terrible, senseless acts.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France and we mourn their loss.”
Barack Obama on Paris Attacks:
US President Barack Obama speaks about attacks in Paris from the briefing room of the White House, on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in Washington. Obama is calling the attacks on Paris an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and vows to do whatever it takes to help bring the perpetrators to justice.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said he would not speculate about who was responsible. He called the attacks a “heartbreaking situation” and an “attack on all of humanity.”
Obama was briefed on the attacks Friday by his counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.