Paris Attacks: President Francois Hollande: ‘We Will Lead the Fight. It Will Be Ruthless’

President Hollande spoke in front of the Bataclan concert venue shortly after police ended a siege on the building that officials say left around 100 people dead.

French President Francois Hollande (C), flanked by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (Rear L), French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (R) and President of the French National Assembly Claude Bartolone (2nd R), addresses reporters near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. A number of people were killed in an 'unprecedented' series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13, and the death toll looked likely to rise as sources said dozens had been killed at the Bataclan popular music venue. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Francois Hollande (C), flanked by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (Rear L), French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (R) and President of the French National Assembly Claude Bartolone (2nd R), addresses reporters near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. A number of people were killed in an ‘unprecedented’ series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13, and the death toll looked likely to rise as sources said dozens had been killed at the Bataclan popular music venue. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Reports from survivors indicate that the attackers may have mentioned Hollande during the attack.

Les Monde journalist Elise Barthet said several survivors were being interviewed by police in a bar near the Bataclan venue. According to Barthet, two witness said one of the shooters said “everything is the fault of your president.” (more)

Source: Live updates: mashable.com


Paris Is Turning

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Paris is turning schools, hotels into housing for migrants.

France has approximately 25,000 beds designated for asylum seekers, a number far short of the needs of the nearly 70,000 who applied for asylum in the country last year, part of what Julliard called the ‘unprecedented migrant crisis’ facing Europe.

PARIS (AP) — Maggy Donaldson reports: Before the Taliban forced him to flee Afghanistan, Younis exported flowers to the United Arab Emirates and China.

The 30-year-old crossed Iran, Turkey and much of Europe before arriving in Paris a month ago, a brutal journey that left him with a discolored lesion on his ankle and a swollen leg.

“I’m not poor. I like my country. I lived with my family. If I didn’t have to leave, I would live in Afghanistan.”

— Younis, Afghan refugee, who now sleeps in a former Paris high school

After weeks living on the banks of the Seine, Younis — who gave only his first name because his asylum application is still being processed — now sleeps in a former Paris high school that has been empty for four years, one of about 200 migrants living there.

Paris' deputy mayor, Bruno Julliard ©Francois Lafite/Wostok Press/Maxppp France, Paris

Paris’ deputy mayor, Bruno Julliard ©Francois Lafite/Wostok Press/Maxppp.

“Paris is turning a blind eye to humanitarian groups converting abandoned public buildings like the school into migrant centers, recognizing that the 1,000 official emergency housing spots Paris has created since June are not enough to shelter all migrants left without a roof.”

Paris is turning a blind eye to humanitarian groups converting abandoned public buildings like the school into migrant centers, recognizing that the 1,000 official emergency housing spots Paris has created since June are not enough to shelter all migrants left without a roof, Paris’ deputy mayor, Bruno Julliard, told French radio.

“I don’t have a job or a place to stay, I can’t read, I can’t focus.”

— Younis

The school’s classrooms are lined with sleeping bags atop makeshift cardboard mattresses. Migrants drink instant coffee and eat goulash concocted from donated ingredients. It’s bare-bones, but migrants, activists and many city officials agree it’s better than being on the streets. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Charlie Hebdo Massacre Update: Hostage Held as Suspects Surrounded

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Chris Morris reports on from Dammartin-en-Goele where police have surrounded the warehouse

French police have surrounded a building in a northern town where two Islamists suspected of the Charlie Hebdo massacre have taken a hostage.

Holed up in a small printing business in Dammartin-en-Goele, 35km (22 miles) from Paris, the gunmen reportedly said they were prepared to die.

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Shots were fired during a high-speed car chase earlier on Friday, the third day of the manhunt for the attackers.

Twelve people were shot dead and 11 injured in Wednesday’s attack.

The suspects, two brothers linked by intelligence officials to militant groups, shouted Islamist slogans during the shooting and then fled Paris in a hijacked car, heading north.

It appears that on Friday they hijacked another car in the town of Montagny-Sainte-Felicite before travelling on to Dammartin.

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The car’s owner recognised them as brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, the key suspects.

In a televised statement Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed the men being sought on Friday were those wanted for the Charlie Hebdo attack and said they would be “neutralised”.

In another development, a police source said there was a connection between the Charlie Hebdo attack and the shooting of a policewoman in Paris on Thursday.

The suspects have been surrounded in a small printing business named CTD, a source close to the investigation told AFP news agency.

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This Google Streetview image shows the printing business where the hostage has been taken

Officials from the town council say pupils from three schools are being evacuated to a nearby gymnasium, where they will be reunited with their parents.

An interior ministry official said there had been no deaths or injuries on Friday, as reported by some media.

Christelle Alleume, who works near CTD in Dammartin, said a round of gunfire had interrupted her morning coffee break.

“We heard shots and we returned very fast because everyone was afraid,” she told French broadcaster iTele. “We had orders to turn off the lights and not approach the windows.”

People in the area say police helicopters began arriving around 08:45 (07:45 GMT) followed by convoys of armed officers. Sharpshooters could be seen taking up position on rooftops.

Read the rest of this entry »