Terror in Paris

A report from our correspondent in France

drapeau franceOn Friday, November 13th, unprecedented terrorist attacks hit Paris. Months after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, where freedom of speech above all was targeted, and after the hostages held at a kosher supermarket, still in Paris, where the objective was to assault the Jewish community, it is now France as a whole which was hit. Numerous spots were ambushed throughout the evening, at different times. First of all, at the “Stade de France”, a Parisian soccer stadium where France and Germany’s national teams were playing against one another that night. The terrorists’ initial plan was to detonate the bombs they were wearing on the bleachers; however, the stadium’s security didn’t let them enter, so they resorted to blasting the bombs outside of the stadium, killing one man.

On Saturday, the streets of Paris were empty: the cafés facing the Eiffel Tower, usually crowded, now counted only two or three couples ordering a glass of wine while casting wary glances around them, some even wearing bulletproof vests. All national monuments were closed, accordingly with President Hollande’s demand for a three-day national mourning.

The French Government responded to the terrorist attacks by launching massive air strikes on cities held by ISIS in Syria, and by declaring a “National State of Emergency” in France; though bound to last no more than three weeks as written in the French Constitution, it lends the State greater power: anyone’s flat may now be searched without any search warrant, curfews on citizens are imposed, and protests are forbidden. Despite a consequent rise of the number of military patrolling in the capital’s streets, the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, warned that attacks would still occur “if not in the next few days, then in the next few weeks,” and urged France’s people to stay as much as possible at home.

by Marin E.

Worldwide reactions:

BresilBrazil: “In the barbarity of fundamentalist fanaticism , the city responded with its most devastating weapon : a way of life made of pleasure, culture and civilization , all that terrorists hate most.” Veja.com.br

Drapeau USUnited States: “Obviously, those of us here in the United States know what it’s like. We’ve gone through these kinds of episodes ourselves. And whenever these kinds of attacks happened, we’ve always been able to count on the French people to stand with us,” Obama

Our grief out to the victims of all recent attacks in Beirut, Paris, Mali and elsewhere.