President, Vice President strongly condemn terrorist strike in Paris

New Delhi, Nov.14 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari have both strongly condemned the terrorist strike in Paris, France, that has reportedly claimed around 125 to 150 lives and left another 200 injured.

Both issued separate statements through their respective offices early on Saturday morning, condemning the shocking incident.

In his message appearing on Twitter, President Pranab Mukherjee said, “I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks in Paris, India stands firmly by France. My heart goes out to its people”

In his statement, Vice President Ansari said, “I am shocked by the terrorist attack in Paris. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those whose loved ones have been killed, and with the French people. There can be no justification for such barbaric and reprehensible acts. This is not just an attack against Paris but against all humanity. We stand with the people and Government of France and commend their swift action in dealing with the attackers.”

The deadly attack reportedly began in the French capital at a soccer stadium where a match was underway as explosions set off. Simultaneously, terrorists armed with AK-47s and bombs strapped to them began attacking in different sites throughout the city.

A bloodbath was reported from the Bataclan concert hall where more than 100 were killed as terrorists opened fire for 15 minutes and even shot hostages at point blank range.

Later, SWAT units stormed the concert hall and around three terrorists were reportedly neutralised, ending the siege.

According to reports, the attack sites were at least six, including the Bataclan concert venue, Le Carillon, Le Petit Cambodge, 20 rue Alibert, La Belle Equipe, Near Stade de France and reports of gunfire at least from one other site.

French President Francois Hollande sent out a strong message in a televised address to the grief and horror struck nation, asking them to stay united and swore the assailants responsible will face the consequences.

“As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is a horror. Faced with terror, France must be strong, it must be great and the state authorities must be firm. We will be. What the terrorists want is to scare us and fill us with dread. There is indeed reason to be afraid. There is dread, but in the face of this dread, there is a nation that knows how to defend itself, that knows how to mobilise its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists,” the President said.

He also declared a state of emergency and ordered the borders to be closed while rallying military reinforcements.

U.S President Barack Obama said the attack was not just on France but on humanity and swore to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Once again we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians. This is an attack not just on Paris; it’s an attack not just on the people of France. But this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share. The US stands prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and people of France need to respond,” Obama said from the White House.

He added that the U.S Government will do whatever it takes to work with France to bring the terrorists to justice and hunt down any terrorist networks that go after the people of their nation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a statement saying she was ‘deeply shaken’ by the horrific series of events and that her thoughts were with the victims “of the apparent terrorist attack.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemning ‘the despicable terrorist attacks’ and demanded the immediate release of numerous hostages held in the Bataclan theater.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also offered his condolences, saying he was shocked by the ‘brazen attack’ and vowed to extend all help possible.

“News from Paris is anguishing & dreadful. Prayers with families of the deceased. We are united with people of France in this tragic hour,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Condemning the ‘senseless violence’, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi offered his condolences to the people of France and said that ‘terror cannot defeat freedom and liberty’ and that this has only strengthened the resolve of people to fight against terrorism. (ANI)

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