Paris authorities reported late Friday that 46 people were killed after gunmen opened fire at three locations in central Paris. Gunmen took 100 people hostage in a local concert hall where an American heavy metal band were performing. Two explosions were heard at or near the the Stade de France, the national stadium, where Germany and France were holding a soccer match, the Associated Press reports. It was not immediately clear if the two events were related.
Police officials confirm that 11 people were killed in a downtown restaurant and 35 were killed in the theater. A BBC journalist at the scene reports 10 people were seen in the street, either dead or seriously injured. A police official confirmed one explosion at a McDonald’s near the stadium. The game was not stopped, police told NBC News. France has been on edge since Islamic extremists attacked the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery store early this year. Twenty people, including three attackers, were left dead in the terror. The Bataclan theater is in the same general neighborhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices, according to the AP. The American band Eagles of Death Metal were scheduled to play at Bataclan theater Friday night.
In August, a gunman armed with an AK-47 opened fire on an Amsterdam-to-Paris train in France before being subdued by passengers, including three Americans. Three people were injured. Global security firm Flashpoint Intelligence said Friday that it had not seen any terror-related claims in the immediate aftermath of the string of violence. “We’re definitely not seeing any claim from any group, we’re not seeing any claim of response from any individuals.”
There was a lockdown at the Stade de France due to possible explosions, according to French media. President Francois Hollande was at the stadium, watching France playing world champions Germany in a friendly soccer match, but he left to go to the Interior Ministry. Counterterrorism officials around the United States have convened secure conference calls to try to gather information and to assess whether there is any indication of threats in the U.S, according to two U.S. counterterrorism officials. There is nothing to indicate any threat to U.S. cities so far. Immediate suspicion for the events in Paris falls to so-called returnees — people who have traveled to Syria and Iraq and have returned, the officials said. The French newspaper Liberation quotes a witness as saying two armed men got out of a car parked in the street and began firing. They then jumped back into the vehicle and fled.