At least 153 persons were killed during series of attacks in different parts of Paris, capital of France, on Friday, according to CNN.
President Francois Hollande, who has declared a state of emergency and ordered that the country’s borders be shut, said the attacks were “unprecedented”.
Mail Online reported that 11 were killed in a restaurant shootout and 15 at the Bataclan concert hall in the city, where over 100 people were held hostage.
A witness told Al Jazeera that several men entered the hall and started firing into the air. An American band called Eagles of Death Metal was playing to a packed crowd of close to a thousand.
Attackers held as many as 100 hostages for several hours until French security forces raided the venue and defeated the hostage-takers, who were reportedly executing people inside.
Nick Holden, dining at a restaurant in central Paris, told Al Jazeera what he saw in the first moments after the shootings.
“A lady came in crying. We assumed some sort of domestic dispute, and someone said she had seen someone shot,” Holden said.“We couldn’t believe what was said until we heard the sirens and people started to run, and that’s what we did.”
Some people were also said to have been killed outside the Stade de France sports stadium where the French football team was playing a friendly match against Germany.
“It’s an abomination, an act of barbarism. We must be merciless in the face of this terror,” Hollande said.
Machine gun fire and screams were heard from inside a restaurant on Rue Bichat, close to where the Charlie Hebdo shootings occurred in January
A man who was inside the theatre when the gunmen entered told a French radio station that the men shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ as they opened fire.
Another witness claimed that the attackers also shouted: “This is for Syria”.
“We are all terrified, and have been told to get away as soon as possible,’ said Gilles Avel, a 19-year-old student who was enjoying a night out with friends close to the Bataclan.
“There were shots and then lots of people running. We knew there was a rock concert going on in the Bataclan.”
France has been on edge since ISIS launched a bloody attack on the satirical newspaper and a kosher grocery that left 20 people – including the three attackers – dead.
This is the eighth attack in France in the last three years.