On Friday evening, eight heavily armed gunmen wearing suicide vests opened fire and detonated bombs at locations across Paris, killing at least 129 people and injuring more than 300 in Europe’s deadliest terrorist attack in over a decade. Soon after, the French government declared a state of emergency and put the capital city on lockdown. Residents of Paris were warned not to leave their homes.
On Saturday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the coordinated assaults. A Syrian passport was found near one of the suicide attackers, and a Greek official later told reporters it belonged to a man entered Europe through Greece in October. French President Francois Hollande referred to the massacre as “an act of war that was committed by a terrorist army, a jihadist army.”
Hours after the attack, VICE News arrived in Paris to witness a city in mourning. At the Place de la République, reaction to the mass killings was mixed. Some French citizens issued pleas for tolerance and unity in the days ahead. Many expressed fear about future Islamic State attacks. And others argued the shootings would inspire a backlash against the ongoing flow of refugees into Europe.
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