*This blog has been updated to reflect new information from Paris.
Paris is reeling as a series of apparent terrorist attacks are unfolding in the 10th and 11th districts of the city.
The first attack took place at a restaurant where a gunman reportedly opened fire upon people both inside and outside the restaurant.
Another attack took place at the Stade de France stadium where a friendly soccer match was taking place between France and Germany. French prime minister François Hollande was in attendance at the stadium but was swiftly removed following the news of the shootings.
Since then, between three and five explosions are reported to have taken place at, and in the vicinity of, the stadium—including at least one by a suspected suicide bomber.
A third attack took place at a concert hall, the Bataclan arts center, where up to 100 people were being held hostage. The latest reports indicate that these hostages are now considered fatalities.
It’s being estimated that greater than 160 people have died in tonight’s attacks and chaos is ensuing as people who were out spending an innocent Friday night socializing in the city are seeking safe cover.
Although no one has yet claimed responsibility, the widespread assumption is that ISIS is behind the attacks. President Hollande has now closed the borders of the country and declared a state of emergency.
The only heartening grace in all the stories emerging is how the people of Paris residing in the affected areas are opening their homes to those fleeing the scenes in terror. The hashtag #PorteOuverte is being used across social media to connect people with a safe place to spend the night.
Military personnel have been deployed across the city, and it is reported that two of the attackers were killed in an operation to storm the Bataclan.
I join with the thousands across the world who are sending their love to Paris, especially to all those directly affected by these tragic events. May those who are still seeking refuge find a safe place to stay tonight.
Relephant video, for peace.
Author: Hilda Carroll
Editor: Caitlin Oriel