Eight ISIS terrorists wielding AK-47s and wearing suicide belts carried out coordinated attacks at six sites around Paris Friday night, killing at least 127 people and wounding at least 180 others, France’s president said Saturday.
American citizens were among the injured and the U.S. government was working closely with French authorities to identify the victims, the State Department said Saturday morning. “The U.S. Embassy in Paris is working round the clock to assist Americans affected by this tragedy,” deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said in a statement.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and a Syrian passport was found on the body of suicide bomber at the Paris stadium. French authorities are investigating the attacks and urging any witnesses to come forward. Speaking after an emergency security meeting to plan his government’s response, Francois Hollande declared three days of national mourning and raised France’s security to its highest level.
He described Friday’s attacks, which produced the worst bloodshed in Paris since World War II, as an “act of war.” Hollande said ISIS was “a terrorist army … 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.”