Bloodied France vows ‘merciless’ response to IS ‘act of war’


PARIS: French President Francois Hollande promised a “merciless” response to the wave of attacks by gunmen and bombers that killed at least 129 people across Paris on Friday (Saturday morning in Pakistan).

The president described the assault claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group as “an act of war” against France.

“France will be merciless towards these barbarians from Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

“Faced with war, the country must take appropriate action,” Mr Hollande said after an emergency meeting of security chiefs. He also announced three days of national mourning.

In the worst attack, four gunmen systematically slaughtered 87 young people at a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall before anti-terrorist commandos launched an assault on the building. A number of survivors were rescued.

At least 40 more people were killed in five other attacks in the Paris region, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the Stade de France national stadium, where Mr Hollande and the German foreign minister were watching a friendly soccer international between the two countries.

The assaults came as France, a founder member of the US-led coalition waging air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks.

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