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PARIS — Paris is a city under siege and in mourning as the death toll rises in a series of apparently coordinated attacks across the city Friday night.
Officials report that more than 150 people are dead in the gruesome attacks. The AP reports that five attackers may also be dead.
Police early Saturday freed hostages at Paris concert venue Bataclan where more than 100 people have died. The attacks seemed to be planned to hit areas where many people would be gathered on a Friday night, officials said.
Security forces launched an assault on the Paris concert hall where the hostages have been taken. At least two of the attackers at the concert hall are dead.
The Paris police prefecture told residents to remain home and avoid going out unless absolutely necessary.
Six shootings took place in Paris and three explosions took place at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis late Friday, CNN affiliate BFMTV said.
Two or three gunmen entered the Bataclan concert hall while opening fire on law enforcement, BFMTV reported. A source earlier told CNN there were six to eight hostage takers, citing a person they were talking to inside the venue.
Attackers reportedly used AK-47 automatic weapons.
One of the explosions at the Stade de France outside Paris appears to be a suicide bombing, a Western intelligence source receiving direct intelligence from the scene told CNN’s Deb Feyerick.
A dismembered body, consistent with the aftermath of an explosion from that type of device, was found at the scene, the source said.
Traffic on several subway lines has been interrupted following the attacks, the Paris police prefecture reported.
At this hour, there is no credible or specific threat in the United States, according to a U.S. government official. The NYPD said there is no known threat against the city.
President Barack Obama calls Paris attacks ‘outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.’
French President Francois Hollande, in an address to the nation, said he had declared a state of emergency, meaning borders will be closed. “We have to show compassion and solidarity and we also have to show unity and keep our cool. France must be strong and great,” he said.
The Paris prefecture of police is instructing residents to stay home. The prefecture said via Twitter that people should stay inside “unless there’s an absolute necessity.”
French authorities have launched a terrorism investigation, Eric Pelletier, a reporter with Le Pariesien, tells CNN Paul Cruickshank. There has been no official claim of responsibility, though ISIS has applauded the attacks on Twitter, Cruickshank reports.
“This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people on France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share,” U.S. President Barack Obama said at the White House. He called the attacks an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.”
Counterterrorism officials around the United States have convened secure conference calls to try to gather information and to assess whether there is any indication of threats in the U.S, according to two U.S. counterterrorism officials. Immediate suspicion for the events in Paris falls to so-called returnees — people who have traveled to Syria and Iraq and have returned, the officials said.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named according to police policy.
DHS officials are in contact with their foreign counterparts.
In early January of this year, two gunmen attacked the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and wounding 11.
Said and Cherif Kouachi wanted to punish the magazine for the publication of cartoons that they believed mocked the Prophet Mohammed. The Kouachi brothers two days later were shot and killed in a standoff with police in Dammartin-en-Goele.
Amedy Coulibaly, an associate of Said and Cherif Kouachi, attacked a Jewish grocery store in Paris, taking more than a dozen people hostage and killing four. Coulibaly had killed a policewoman the day before, on January 8. Coulibaly was killed when police stormed the kosher market.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is “deeply shaken by the news and pictures that are reaching us from Paris. ” The German leader issued a statement saying her thoughts were with the victims “of the apparent terrorist attack.”
The Secretary-General of the NATO alliance says he is “deeply shocked by horrific Paris attacks.”
Jens Stoltenberg said in a Twitter message that “We stand together with the people of #France. Terrorism will never defeat democracy.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is condemning “the despicable terrorist attacks” in Paris and is demanding the immediate release of numerous hostages being held in the Bataclan theater.