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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Police, gunmen in Paris shootout video

The Belgian defence minister has confirmed several arrests in Brussels in connection to the Paris attacks.

Fighting words … French President Francois Hollande has blamed the Islamic State group for the attacks in Paris, calling them an “act of war”. Picture: Stephane de Sakutin/Pool Photo via AP

DRAMATIC footage of a shoot-out between French police and gunmen has emerged from the night terror struck France.

The video, taken by witness Patrick Zachmann, shows police and the terrorists in a stand-off outside the Paris concert venue where 80 people were killed at an Eagles of Death Metal’s concert.

The officers are seen shooting at the terrorists, before taking refuge from the spray of bullets outside Bataclan theatre, surrounded by emergency vehicles.

Zachmann, a photographer, narrated the video as he was filming, saying he saw a woman “asking for help, she was saying ‘aidez-moi, aidez-moi’, so help me, help me,” Daily Mail reported.

“It was like panic. You felt it was not under their control.”

Dramatic scenes … a French police officer in a tense standoff with terrorists outside the Bataclan concert venue. Picture: Patrick Zachmann/YouTubeSource:Supplied

Terrifying … footage has emerged of French police locked in a shootout with terrorists in Paris. Picture: Patrick Zachmann/YouTubeSource:Supplied

The attacks: What we know

– Three teams of gunmen and suicide bombers carried out the attacks

– 129 people dead, 352 wounded, 99 critical

– Six attackers blew themselves up, one shot by police and detonated his explosive vest; reports of eighth attacker not confirmed

– Australian woman Emma Parkinson shot in the hip, recovering after surgery

– Attackers thought to multinational team with links to the Middle East, Belgium and possibly Germany as well as home-grown French roots

– Police say attackers appeared to be “seasoned, at first sight, and well trained”

– Police have identified one gunman who blew himself up at the Bataclan concert hall as 29-year-old Paris native Omar Ismail Mostefai; he has never been linked to terrorism. His father and 34-year-old brother have been taken into custody and their homes are being searched

– Three people have been arrested in Belgium after a Belgian hired car found near one attack site

– A man arrested in Germany’s Bavaria state after guns and explosives found in his car may also be linked to attacks

– The holder of Syrian passport found near the body of one suicide bomber outside the soccer stadium passed though the Greek island of Leros in October with refugees, the Greek minister says

– Hollande declares state of emergency, sets three days of official mourning

Injured … Hobart woman Emma Grace Parkinson was injured in the Paris attacks. Picture: FacebookSource:AAP

Hunt for suspects spans Europe

French police have identified three teams of gunmen wearing suicide vests who killed at least .

A 29-year-old Frenchman was the first to be confirmed among the seven attackers, all of whom died in the assault, while two other men who registered as refugees in Greece have been linked to the atrocities.

The Greek line of inquiry, and the discovery of at least one Syrian passport at the scene, has raised suspicions some of the attackers or accomplices might have entered Europe as part of an influx of people fleeing Syria’s civil war.

“A Syrian passport in the name of a person born in Syria in September 1990 was found near a suicide bomber who blew himself up at the Stade de France (stadium),” prosecutor Francois Molins told a press conference on Saturday.

President Francois Hollande called the co-ordinated assault on Friday night an “act of war” as the Paris capital’s normally bustling streets fell eerily quiet.

A national emergency and three days of mourning have been declared. Paris City Hall ordered all city facilities closed, while the Eiffel Tower shut indefinitely.

Aftermath .. bullet holes in the windows of Le Carillon Cafe. Picture: Ella PellegriniSource:News Corp Australia

The remains of the 29-year-old French gunman were found near the Bataclan concert hall in eastern Paris, the bloodiest of the attacks.

The jihadists were heard raging at the French president and his decision in September to begin air strikes on Islamic State in Syria.

The investigation quickly spread beyond France on Saturday as Belgian police arrested several suspects in Brussels, including one who was in Paris at the time of the carnage.

Michel told Belgian television that the arrests were linked to “suspect vehicles” identified during the investigation by French police.

French authorities also asked their Greek counterparts for information on the passport found at the scene of the Stade de France attack.

“We confirm that the (Syrian) passport holder came through the Greek island of Leros on October 3 where he was registered under EU rules,” said a statement issued by Greek minister for citizen protection, Nikos Toskas.

Another foreigner sought in connection with the attacks was also found to have registered in Greece, police sources confirmed. Greece is the main entry point in Europe for hundreds of thousands of Syrians refugees and European security forces have long feared that IS militants could hide among them.

In Germany, the authorities said they were looking into a possible link between the attacks and the arrest in Bavaria last week of a man with a car-load of weapons and explosives.

The Paris attacks were “prepared, organised and planned overseas, with help from inside (France)”, Hollande said.

No change to Australia’s terror level

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is in the “closest contact” with Australia’s security and counter-terrorism officials on domestic threats after the deadly attacks in Paris. Despite being in Turkey for G20 meetings, the prime minister is receiving regular briefings from the federal police commissioner, director general of ASIO and his ministers.

Australian security forces are working with their French counterparts to assess risks and so far have provided no advice to raise the terror-threat level.

Mr Turnbull pointed to other recent large-scale attacks, including recent bombings in Turkey and Beirut, to highlight the global struggle with terrorism.

But he reassured Australians of his confidence in domestic security agencies, heralding their collective ability to “keep us safe”.

“We can’t pretend the risk is not there, but we have to recognise that the security agencies spend their days ensuring that these attacks do not occur,” he told ABC television on Sunday. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten confirmed his support for the government’s national security measures, saying both sides would work together to provide resources to anti-terror agencies.

“Today is a day where we remind everyone that, if the terrorists hope they can divide us, they’re not going to succeed in Australia,” he told reporters in Melbourne ahead of his own national security briefing on Sunday.

Emotional scenes … a woman pays her respects at a floral memorial in front of La Belle Equipe cafe. Picture: Ella PellegriniSource:News Corp Australia

World stands in solidarity with France

Stirring renditions of La Marseillaise have rung out from Dublin to New York as global landmarks were bathed in the French colours and thousands marched in solidarity with Paris after attacks that left at least 129 dead.

Monuments from the Sydney Opera House in Australia to One World Trade Center in New York were adorned with France’s red, white and blue on Saturday, while the “Peace for Paris” symbol combining the city’s iconic Eiffel Tower with the peace sign of the 1960s went viral online.

Hundreds braved wet weather to gather in Sydney’s Martin Place on Saturday evening to show their support, close to the site of the deadly terror siege at the Lindt cafe just under a year ago. Draped in French flags and carrying signs reading “We stand with France” and “We’re praying for France”, the crowd held hands and sang the national anthem twice during the vigil.

New York’s Metropolitan Opera led by star tenor Placido Domingo mourned the victims with an unscheduled performance of the distinctive French national anthem.

Solidarity … Sydney’s Opera House was adorned with the red, white and blue of France’s flag.Source:AP

Outside, about 2000 gathered in Manhattan to sing their own version in Washington Park Square, while in the US capital, French expatriates came together in Lafayette Square to mourn.

Singer Madonna paid a tearful tribute to the victims on stage by singing French song La vie en rose, accompanied only by a guitar, during a concert in Stockholm.

Many of the 6000 participants in a march in the Irish capital were draped in the French blue, white and red flag, while others also sang the national anthem.

London paid homage to the victims as 2000 people gathered at an evening vigil in the British capital’s Trafalgar Square, where fountains and the grand portico of the National Gallery opposite were lit to resemble the tricolour.

Across the French capital, Parisians placed lit candles in their windows in memory of the dead, but the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of the city of light, was shrouded in darkness and would remain closed “until further notice”, a spokeswoman said.

Bouquets, candles and messages of condolence were laid at French embassies worldwide.

A Twitter campaign has begun encouraging notoriously tribal England football fans to join with French travelling supporters in singing La Marseillaise before the kick-off in Tuesday’s friendly match between the two countries.

Terror in the streets … a woman being evacuated after the shooting at the Bataclan theatre in Paris. Picture: APSource:AP

Australians injured

At least two Australians found themselves in the crossfire as terrorists went on a three-hour rampage of death in co-ordinated shootings and bombings across the French capital.

Emma Parkinson, 19, of Hobart, was shot in the lower back and is recovering in a Paris hospital.

Ms Parkinson was injured in the ­attack at the Bataclan concert hall as US hard rock band ­Eagles of Death Metal played to about 1500 fans.

She was in a stable condition.

Friend Kate Rees told the Sunday Herald Sun: “She was lucky she wasn’t inside. She just kept saying to me that she was next door in the line and that she just needed to talk to her mum.”

Chaos … Police officers and rescue workers gather around a victim outside in the 10th district of Paris. Picture: AP Photo/Jacques BrinonSource:AP

Melbourne woman Sophie Doran was also at the concert but escaped uninjured by pretending she was dead to ­escape the attention of the gunmen.

The gunmen burst in and began firing at random before holding a large number of fans hostage.

They then began executing them before French police commandos stormed the hall. More than 100 fans died.

Michael Doran, father of Sophie, said his daughter had pretended she had been killed before the commandos arrived to rescue them.

“There were bodies everywhere and pretending you are dead must be a horrible experience,” he told Channel 9.

At this stage there are no reports of any Australians among the dead.

Staying strong … signs of support at Place de la Republique. Picture: Ella PellegriniSource:News Corp Australia

France promises ‘merciless’ response

An angry President Hollande has promised a “merciless” response to a wave of attacks by gunmen and bombers across Paris, describing the assault claimed by Islamic State as an act of war against France.

Prosecutors said the co-ordinated assault on restaurants, a concert hall and the national soccer stadium appeared to have been carried out by a multinational team with links to the Middle East and Belgium as well as home-grown French roots.

The mass bloodshed came as France, a founder member of the US-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attack.

It was the worst such attack in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, in which 191 died.

Tears for Paris … A woman grieves outside of the Carillon bar in the 10th district of Paris. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

Hollande said the attacks were organised from abroad by Islamic State, with internal help.

“France will be merciless towards these barbarians from Daesh,” Hollande said, using an Arab acronym for Islamic State.

In its claim of responsibility, Islamic State said the attacks were a response to France’s military campaign.

It also distributed an undated video in which a bearded militant warned in Arabic: “As long as you keep bombing you will not live in peace. You will even fear travelling to the market.” Sylvestre, a young man who was at the Stade de France when bombs went off there, said he was saved by his mobile phone, which he was holding to his ear when a metal bolt hit it.

France has been on high alert since Islamist gunmen attacked the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January, killing 18 people.

British police said the evacuation of London’s Gatwick Airport on Saturday was connected to the discovery of a possible firearm in a bin and a 41-year-old man from France was arrested.

Tense situation … A French police officer took cover while on the lookout for the shooters who attacked the restaurant ‘Le Petit Cambodge’ earlier in Paris. Picture: EPA/ETIENNE LAURENTSource:AAP

Carnage … A member of the French fire brigade aids an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings. Picture: REUTERS/Christian HartmannSource:Reuters

Investigations underway … Forensic police search for evidences inside the Comptoir Voltaire cafe at the site of an attack. Picture: AFP/Kenzo TribouillardSource:AFP

Giving back … People line up to give blood at the St Louis hospital across the street from the Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris. Picture: APSource:AP