Sunday, November 15, 2015

Paris massacre

129 or more lives were brutally cut short by the gunmen during Friday's atrocities in the various locales of Paris. Many of the coordinated terrorist assaults occurred only minutes apart. Most of victims were fresh-faced youngsters who had hoped only to enjoy a night out at a rock concert or a friendly soccer match.

More than 100 innocent people were killed in the Bataclan concert hall alone when they were enjoying music from the American band, ‘Eagles of Death Metal’.  Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen sprayed bullets into them shouting at the people trying to flee, 'if you move, we'll kill you'. The jihadists paused briefly to move up to the balcony, where they reloaded and opened fire again at the concert-goers in the pit downstairs. The Jihadi gunmen continued slaughtering innocent concert-goers while they were trying to escape dragging their bleeding friends along the ground to safety.  After shooting the people packed into the pit dead, the jihadists used their vests to blow themselves up. French Special Forces evacuated people including the injured from the Bataclan concert hall following the fatal shootings. 

Another site for the Jihadi carnage was the La Belle Equipe restaurant. About 12 but possibly as high as 19 of the victims were from the La Belle Equipe, Rue de Charonne, a popular bistro in Paris. The gunmen were outside of La Belle Equipe when they started shooting. They aimed at  people who were sitting on the terrace of the cafe. One witness said the shooting lasted about three minutes. Then the gunmen reportedly got back in their car and headed in the direction of the Charonne station. 

General view of the scene with rescue service personnel

Two explosions occurred near the sports stadium, the Stade de France, apprently by a suicide bomber, as the German and French national teams were playing a friendly soccer match. The Explosions killed three people and left several more injured. The French president Mr. Hollande who was among the spectators was quickly evacuated.  

The casualties were much more than during the massacre at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and related assaults around the French capital by Islamic militant extremists less than a year ago. These attacks have traumatized France and the whole world. Hollande has declared a state of emergency in France. Fears of such religious extremist acts from violent jihadists radicalized by the conflicts in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, have been escalated in Europe, USA, India and a few other nations.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Paris to pay tribute to the victims of the horrific attacks. Vigils have been held around the globe as the world's iconic buildings-- Tower Bridge in London, Sydney Opera House, the 408ft spire of One World Trade Center in New York, the Empire State Building, San Francisco’s City Hall, the CN Tower in Toronto and the High Roller Ferris wheel in Las Vegas  were all lit-up --bathed in blues, whites and reds (French tricolor)-- as an eloquent expression of solidarity  with the French in the wake of Paris attacks.

World leaders have condemned the attack in unequivocal terms. President Obama said: . “This is an attack not just on Paris, it's an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share."  World leaders have made clear that they will stand together with France in the fight against terrorism and extremism. 

World mourns the lives lost. Only emotional attachment to a god can make men do such evil as that in Paris now, earlier in the Twin Tower massacre and in the Mumbai blasts. The world should take concerted action to wipe terror from the face of the earth with or without Islamic nations’ support.  

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