French President, Francois Hollande, has described the near-simultaneous attacks in Paris that killed about 130 people as an ‘act of war’ organised by the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group.
President Hollande said the attacks, carried out by eight gunmen and suicide bombers, were “organised and planned from outside”.
He added that the murders were “committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State group, a jihadist army, 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”.
He stressed that France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group”.
Mr Hollande, who was speaking after an emergency security meeting, vowed the country would “act by all means anywhere, inside or outside the country”.
“France is united and taking action and it will triumph over barbarity.What we are defending is our country, but more than that, it is our values,” the French leader added.
Leaders from around the world have also expressed solidarity in the wake of the attacks.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the attackers “hate freedom”.
She expressed grief for those who died, saying “they wanted to live the life of free people in a city that celebrates life”.
Pope Francis also condemned the events as “unjustifiable, inhuman acts”.
For Russian President, Vladimir Putin, the bloodshed was “the latest testimonial to the barbaric essence of terrorism which throws down a challenge to human civilisation”. He added that Moscow stood ready to help “investigate the crime that took place in Paris”.
U.S. President, Barack Obama, called Friday’s violence an “attack on all humanity” and an “outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians”.
United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, nonetheless, condemned “the despicable terrorist attacks”, while British Prime Minister, David Cameron said he was “shocked” by the violence.
The targets included bars, restaurants, a concert and a high-profile football match. IS claimed the attacks.
Meanwhile, Mr Hollande had declared three days of national mourning.
He raised the security threat level to its highest point and imposed a nationwide state of emergency. The attacks wounded at least 180 people, 80 of whom are in a critical condition.
President Hollande was among the spectators and was whisked to safety after the first explosion. It later emerged three suicide bombers blew themselves up at fast food outlets and a brasserie near the stadium.
Police said that a Syrian passport was found on the body of one of the bombers at the stadium.