Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Inside Aleppo: 'Feels like prison'

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The Legacy of Shimon Peres, The Battle of Aleppo (Part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump-Clinton Debate, Colombia Peace Deal, Death of the BlackBerry (Part 2)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Backstage at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FASHION

Paris Fashion Week: Saint Laurent, Lanvin, present new designers

Read more

#THE 51%

Online and proud: Iranian women use social media in a campaign for equality

Read more

#TECH 24

Say hello to Pepper!

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: The final days of Colombia’s FARC guerilla

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Abkhazia, the country that (almost) doesn't exist

Read more

Europe

Hollande says Paris attacks an ‘act of war’ by Islamic State group

© AFP / POOL / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN | French President Francois Hollande speaks in Paris on November 14, following a series of coordinated attacks in and around Paris.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-11-15

Speaking in a televised address to the nation on Saturday, French President François Hollande accused the Islamic State (IS) group of conducting a series of attacks in and around Paris late Friday that left at least 129 people dead.

Speaking from the Elysée presidential palace the morning after France saw its worst day of violence since World War II, Hollande said the attacks were “an act of war" committed by the Islamic State group’s "terrorist army”.

The French president said the atrocities were, “against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet."

The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group claimed responsibility on Saturday for the series of apparently coordinated attacks in and around Paris.

Hollande went on to say that France would "triumph over the barbarism” of the IS militant group and “will act by all means anywhere, inside or outside the country".

Hollande declared three days of national mourning in the wake of the attacks.

The Socialist president announced a state of emergency on Friday night as France reinstituted border checks.

Hollande said he would address parliament on Monday in an extraordinary meeting. France will also hold a minute’s silence Monday at noon for the victims of the Paris attacks.

IS group claims attacks

Shortly after Hollande’s address was broadcast live on major French TV stations, the IS group claimed the Paris attacks in a statement posted online.

Not a lonewolf attack: FRANCE 24's Wassim Nasr

The statement, issued in Arabic and French, said "eight brothers wearing explosive belts and carrying assault rifles" conducted a "blessed attack on ... the Crusader France".

The militant added that the attacks were designed to show France that it will remain a top target, saying France was guilty of "striking Muslims in the caliphate with their aircraft". France is part of a US-led coalition conducting air strikes on IS jihadists in Syria and Iraq, where the group declared a caliphate last year after seizing areas of both countries.

The IS group has attracted thousands of foreign fighters, including nationals from Western European countries. French officials say more than a thousand nationals or residents have travelled to the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq.

'This is a horror'

Gunmen and bombers attacked busy restaurants, bars and a concert hall at least six locations around Paris on Friday evening, killing at least 129 people. The apparently coordinated gun and bomb attacks came as the country, a member of the US-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State group fighters in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference due to open later this month.

Hollande, who was attending an international football match with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier when several explosions went off outside the Stade de France, declared a state of emergency in the Paris region and announced the closure of France's borders.

"This is a horror," the president said in a midnight television address to the nation before chairing an emergency cabinet meeting.

All emergency services were mobilised, police leave was cancelled and hospitals recalled staff to cope with the casualties. 

Date created : 2015-11-14

  • PARIS ATTACKS

    France seeks global coalition in renewed fight against IS

    Read more

  • PARIS ATTACKS

    Paris attacks: ‘There was blood everywhere’

    Read more

  • PARIS ATTACKS

    Paris reels from a series of terrorist attacks across the city

    Read more

COMMENT(S)