Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Paris Attacks: What We Know Right Now

A victim is wheeled out of the Bataclan concert hall Saturday morning after a series of deadly attacks in Paris.
Charles Platiau Reuters/Landov
A victim is wheeled out of the Bataclan concert hall Saturday morning after a series of deadly attacks in Paris.

As Paris wakes up to assess the full toll of Friday night's horrific terrorist attacks, here's what we know so far:

The Victims

At least 120 people were killed, although some media sources reported a higher toll. People were killed at several sites across the French capital:

-- More than 100 massacred in Bataclan, a concert venue where an American rock band was playing. Witnesses reported a horrific scene as multiple gunmen fired into the crowd and audience members scrambled for cover or an exit. French authorities said the gunmen eventually turned the attack into a hostage situation.

-- A few people were killed in explosions — what authorities described as suicide bombings — outside the national soccer stadium. The French national team was taking on Germany at the time of the blasts, with French President Francois Hollande in attendance. Law enforcement officials in the U.S. and France told NPR's Dina Temple-Raston that the increased security detail because of the president's presence may have dissuaded the attackers from trying to enter.

-- Others were killed on the sidewalks outside of at least three restaurants in central Paris, in an area one writer described as "proletarian and ethnically-mixed," and with nightlife that typically attracts city-dwellers rather than tourists. The onset of the weekend, combined with the high-profile soccer game being televised, likely meant bars and restaurants were very full.

-- Scores more people were injured, dozens severely, in the attacks across the city.

The Attackers

Very little is known at this point.

-- No group has stepped forward to officially claim responsibility for the attacks.

-- The number of attackers reported by the authorities has varied, but so far has been under 10. The Paris prosecutor reported Friday night that five had been killed, and authorities have said that they believed all active attackers were dead, though accomplices might still be at large.

-- French authorities reported that some of the attackers were killed when police stormed the concert venue in order to end the hostage situation.

-- The attackers' weapons included automatic rifles and explosives, likely deployed as suicide bombs.

-- Law enforcement officials told Temple-Raston that the sophistication and coordination of the attack was beyond anything exhibited by Islamic State affiliates so far, suggesting possible al-Qaida involvement.

French Reaction

-- After evacuating from the soccer stadium, President Francois Hollande declared a national state of emergency. He put tighter border restrictions into effect, although airports were still operating with increased security and Eurostar train service continued.

-- More than 1,000 French soldiers were deployed across the city on Friday night.

-- Hollande "vowed to be 'merciless' with the nation's foes," the Associated Press reported.

-- Much of France's subway system has been shut down, and is expected to remain closed on Saturday. The city government reported via Twitter that almost all city facilities and offices would be closed on Saturday, including museums and libraries.

-- With the closure of the subway, there were reports that French taxi drivers were offering free rides, and a hashtag circulated on Twitter offering safe places to stay to those stuck on the streets.

In The United States

-- In a televised speech, President Obama called the attack "outrageous" and pledged U.S. support to France. He reiterated that offer in a later phone call with Hollande.

-- Other reactions by elected officials split predictably along party lines, reports NPR's Domenico Montanaro. Democrats will have a high-profile chance to offer their thoughts on the attacks tonight, thanks to a previously scheduled debate at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.


Governments and officials from around the world condemned the attacks, moments of silence were observed at several other international soccer matches and sporting events, and many major buildings and monuments were lit up in French colors — though some images circulating on social media were taken days or years earlier.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit