FRENCH President Francois Hollande says the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Paris were an “act of war” committed by a “terrorist army”.
In a brief address to his nation, President Hollande blamed Islamic State for the series of unprecedented bombings and shootings that, at the time of writing, had left at 127 people dead and 180 more wounded, 80 of whom were critical.
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The deadliest attack unfolded inside the Bataclan theatre where upwards of 80 people were killed when gunmen activated their suicide bombing belts after opening fire during a sold-out rock concert.
President Hollande says: “It is an act of war that was waged by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, by Daesh, against France.
“This act of war was prepared and planned from the outside, with accomplices inside.”
Mr Hollande has declared three days of national mourning and vowed to retaliate, saying: “France, because it was freely, cowardly attacked, will be merciless against the terrorists. France will triumph over barbarism”.
Shortly after the President’s address, Islamic State released a statement online claiming responsibility for what the Washington Post described as, “the worst attacks in France since World War II and among of the most deadly terrorist strikes on Western soil since Sept. 11, 2001”.