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[UPDATE] Death Toll Rising; Hostages Taken At Eagles Of Death Metal Gig In Paris

14 November 2015 | 10:47 am | Staff Writer

Suicide bombers and gunmen attack punters at gig

It has been confirmed that people have been killed and hostages taken at an Eagles Of Death Metal gig in Paris as part of what seems to have been a series of co-ordinated terror attacks in the French capital.

It is estimated that 100 people were taken hostage and at least 40 people killed at the gig — the situation at the venue is now believed to be under control. But with resources stretched across three areas of the city, information remains sketchy. 

According to Fairfax, the gig which took place at the Bataclan Theatre has seen some concert-goers shot down by the gunmen, while dozens more were held captive. It is estimated that 1500 fans had attended the sold-out show.

Consequence Of Sound have reported that the US rock group had vacated the building by the time of the attack. It is also understood that some-time drummer Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age front man) is not with the band on the European tour. 

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Witnesses from inside the venue have said there that were between six-to-eight gunmen in the venue, they were engaged in a shootout with police. 

The French militia are now believed to have stormed the theatre. 

Meanwhile, there have been further attacks at restaurant Le Cambodge where it is reported 15 people have been killed, as well as several explosions at Stade De France during an international football match between France and Germany. 

[UPDATE] It is now being reported that two or three gunmen have been killed at the venue. A state of emergency has been declared and France has closed its borders (Belgium has shut its borders now as well).

Stereogum have reported that the wife of Eagles Of Death Metal's touring drummer Julian Doro has informed media that band members are safe. She told one US news site: "We are just holding our breath and saying prayers for everyone."

[UPDATE] Some news services are now reporting that that death toll from the concert has risen to 100. It is believed there is a total of 118 fatalities in total from all the attacks that took place.

There are also stories of four more attacks taking place — including one at Le Forum Des Halles shopping centre and another at the Louvre. 

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced that any Australians who have concerns for themselves or for their loved ones and friends in France, the consular emergency number, it's a 24-hour number is 1300555135.

Police fear that the attacks are not yet over.

[UPDATE] Eagles Of Death Metal's opening band at the Bataclan Theatre, Madagascan blues rock duo White Miles, have posted a message on their Facebook page saying: "Dear all, Medi and Lofi are save! Thank you for your care. All our thoughts are with the victims and their families." 

French President Francois Hollande has now rushed to the site of the Bataclan attack. He has confirmed that the gunmen at this attack have been killed. 

[UPDATE: 12.52pm AEDT] Guardian is reporting that the death toll from the Bataclan Theatre attack has risen to 120. The death toll from all attacks now stands at 140. 

LA Times have reported that two members of Eagles Of Death Metal's crew are still unaccounted for. They also confirm that "band members have been accounted for and are safe."

A witness, identifying as one of the concert goers, has spoken to La Figaro (translation via Billboard): "It was chaos. I was on the right in the hall of Bataclan, a song by Eagles Of Death Metal was going to end, when I hear noises like exploding firecrackers, I see the singer removed his guitar, I turn I see a guy armed with an automatic weapon that shoots into the air. Everyone folds to the floor. From there, it is the instinct that takes over in each burst, we try to crawl as far as possible shooters."

[UPDATE: 1.13pm AEDT] Patrick Smith, who lives near the Bataclan, has told ABC News that the concert hall attackers held the "entire audience hostage for an hour". He claims that stun grenades were thrown inside the hall by police after one of the gunmen started shooting concertgoers after a stand-off with officers. He added, "You saw the white flashes of the stun grenades and then there were a series of very big explosions."  He then speculated, "It may be that some of the hostage-takers... had suicide packs on and they blew themselves up."

[UPDATE: 1.21pm AEDT] David Ian Hughes, brother of Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes, has posted a message on Facebook confirming that his sibling is okay, "I spoke to him about an hour ago. The band is ok too. I hold out hope that as many people as possible make it out ok, as well."

Julian Pierce, a journalist at the Eagles Of Death Metal show, has described the chaos inside the concert hall (via ABC): "They didn't shout anything. They didn't say anything. They said nothing. They just shot. They just shoot.They were just shooting at people." 

LA Times have written that the band had been on stage for about an hour when the gunfire, panic and stampede started.

[UPDATE: 1.50pm AEDT] Police have confirmed that the Bataclan attackers blew themselves up with 'suicide belts' as police entered the venue. The Paris police prefect said the gunmen initially sprayed machine gunfire at a cafe outside the venue before entering the main hall. All four attackers died in the suicide blasts.

ABC has reported that those injured in the Bataclan attack have been taken to hospitals for treatment, "Those who are okay are being taken to police stations where they'll be interviewed, and a number of witness statements still to be verified coming out of that situation. Some witnesses are saying that the attackers simply fired on people indiscriminately, that people were lying down in the aisles and being fired upon."
[UPDATE: 2.20pm AEDT] AFP has reported that a security source estimates that over 200 people have been injured in the attacks, 80 of those 'seriously' injured.
[UPDATE: 2.43pm AEDT] LA Times has reported that members of US hard rock outfit Deftones were at Bataclan to watch the Eagles Of Death Metal show on Friday night. Deftones were set to play the first of three nights at the Bataclan tonight (Saturday night). A message has now been posted on Deftones Facebook page saying they are okay: "Thank for all your inquiries on our well being. Band/Crew all safe and accounted for at this time. Prayers for those affected in these tragic events." It is believed they left the show 15 minutes before the attack began.
Jesse Hughes’ mother, Jo Ellen Hughes, has told a Reuters correspondent that she had spoken to her son Jesse by telephone after the attack and that he was unhurt but “very upset and shaken”. She told the reporter that she thought the whole band has now been accounted for. However, she's not sure about the whereabouts or wellbeing of the rest of the entourage because the band and crew became separated in the pandemonium.
[UPDATE: 3.03pm AEDT] Deftones singer Chino Moreno has spoken to a local TV news service in the US, telling them: "We’re safe. We weren’t scheduled to play at the Bataclan until [Saturday] night. A couple of band members... went to the concert, but they left early - after the first few songs they ended up leaving the venue. They got out of there and all of our band and crew are safe and accounted for at the hotel now. So, we are just here, we’re pretty much on lockdown. They told everybody pretty much to stay indoors and don’t go out."
Melbourne band Closure In Moscow have posted a message to fans on their Facebook page to say they are safe after playing in Paris last night. Their gig was not in one of the areas attacked. They are on their way out of Paris as they continue the European leg of their current tour. They added, "Our thoughts and love go out to everyone that has been effected by this terrible night so far."
[UPDATE: 3.25pm AEDT] Another witness has spoken to news services about the scene inside the Bataclan concert hall during the siege, describing it as a "scene of carnage". Adding, "I'll spare you the details but yes, bullets in heads, blood everywhere, dead people everywhere. Right now it feels like it's not real, that it's a bad dream, a nightmare.
"It was close to 10pm, we were next to the stage on the right. We heard gunshots and turned around. We thought it was fireworks, instead it was guys shooting everywhere so we all lay down on the floor and crawled towards the stage. 
"We were getting trampled by people who were panicking... we then went upstairs on the right of the stage and hid for two hours in a room, all 25 of us, listening to the sound of kalashnikovs and explosions. People were screaming as if they were being tortured. 
"Up until the last moment we were under the impression the terrorists were close to the door but it was the police special forces. So they got us out, hands up. The injured went out first, one had a bullet in the knee, another in the arm. When we came out it looked like a slaughterhouse."
A U2 gig planned to be staged in Paris tonight (Saturday night) has been cancelled. The show was to be broadcast live on HBO as part of their Innocence + Experience tour. The band issued a statement saying: "We watched in disbelief and shock at the unfolding events in Paris and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city tonight. We are devastated at the loss of life at the Eagles Of Death Metal concert and our thoughts and prayers are with the band and their fans. And we hope and pray that all of our fans in Paris are safe." They also stated that they will go ahead with the show "at an appropriate time." 
[UPDATE: 4.21pm AEDT] Reuters reports that the death toll from the Bataclan attack has been revised down to 87. The number of injured stands at 200.