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Paris Terror: At Least 110 Dead In Series Of Attacks

Police in Paris after the attack Friday.
Police in Paris after the attack Friday.

Follow the latest news on the Paris attacks on French website France 24

PARIS — France declared a state of emergency and sealed its borders Friday evening after a series of apparently coordinated terrorist attacks struck at sites across Paris, leaving scenes of horror and carnage outside a soccer stadium, at a café and inside a concert hall where a hostage situation played out late into the night.

Le Monde reported at least 110 were killed in the attacks, spawning panic and chaos in a city where residents and tourists had only minutes earlier been enjoying a cool and quiet November evening.

At the concert hall, dozens were believed dead as French television showed people evacuating the venue, walking out with their hands up. News media said the operation to secure the Bataclan theater was over and that two gunmen have been killed.

Outside a popular café, witnesses reported seeing piles of bodies in the street, the café windows having been raked with gunfire. Terrified fans stormed the soccer field after suicide bombers detonated explosives outside the stadium north of Paris.

The attacks were the worst in France in modern memory, and once again traumatized a country still reeling from three days of terror in January, when Islamist militants killed 12 people at the offices of the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, left four hostages dead at a kosher supermarket and fatally shot a police officer.

The explosions near the soccer stadium forced authorities to evacuate President Francois Hollande, who was among thousands watching a friendly match between France and Germany.

Hollande later went on national television to announce a state of emergency, including travel restrictions and the closing of French borders. He said security forces were continuing to battle terrorists in at least one location.

"We know who these terrorists are," he said, without elaborating. "These terrorists want to make us afraid and seize us with fear. . . . This is a nation that defends itself."

-Washington Post, Le Monde

Photo: Li Genxing/Xinhua via ZUMA

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Geopolitics

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023

Before heading to South Sudan to continue his highly anticipated trip to Africa, the pontiff was in the Democratic Republic of Congo where he delivered a powerful speech, in a country where 40 million Catholics live.

Minerals And Violence: A Papal Condemnation Of African Exploitation, Circa 2023
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — You may know the famous Joseph Stalin quote: “The Pope? How many divisions has he got?” Pope Francis still has no military divisions to his name, but he uses his voice, and he does so wisely — sometimes speaking up when no one else would dare.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Belgian Congo, a region plundered and martyred, before and after its independence in 1960), Francis has chosen to speak loudly. Congo is a country with 110 million inhabitants, immensely rich in minerals, but populated by poor people and victims of brutal wars.

That land is essential to the planetary ecosystem, and yet for too long, the world has not seen it for its true value.

The words of this 86-year-old pope, who now moves around in a wheelchair, deserve our attention. He undoubtedly said what a billion Africans are thinking: "Hands off the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: It is not a mine to be stripped or a terrain to be plundered!"

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