French President holds ISIS responsible for \'act of war\'

Friday 13/11/2015
A nation in mourning and a world in shock

PARIS - French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday the deadly attacks in Paris that killed 127 people were "an act of war" organised from abroad by Islamic State (ISIS) with internal help.

The multiple attacks across the city late Friday were "an act of war... committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State, against France, against... what we are, a free country," Hollande said.

He said he would address parliament on Monday in an extraordinary meeting and the country would observe three days of official mourning.

Meanwhile, ISIS released an undated video urging Muslims who are unable to travel to Syria to wage holy war to carry out attacks in France, a day after gunmen and bombers killed at least 120 people in Paris.

"Indeed you have been ordered to fight the infidel wherever you find him - what are you waiting for? There are weapons and cars available and targets ready to be hit," said an Islamic State militant, flanked by other fighters, in the video.

"Even poison is available, so poison the water and food of at least one of the enemies of Allah."

Schools, markets, museums and major tourist sites in the Paris area were closed on Saturday and sporting fixtures were cancelled, local authorities said.

"All city facilities are closed today," Paris City Hall said on its website (http://www.paris.fr/actualites/fermeture-de-tous-les-equipements-parisiens-3082).

The list comprised schools, museums, libraries, sports halls, swimming pools, tennis courts, food markets and district town halls.

Only civil registration offices, to record marriages, will be open, it said, adding that security would be beefed up at town halls.

Separately, the French secretary of state for sports issued instructions to sports federations to cancel matches this weekend.

Cancelled events include a European Champions Cup rugby match between Racing 92 and the Glasgow Warriors.

Irish rock band U2 also called off a Paris concert planned for Saturday.

The Eiffel Tower was closed according to a message on its website that did not say how long it would remain shuttered.

Disneyland Paris, which is located on the eastern rim of the Paris region, said it would not open on Saturday "in light of the recent tragic events in France and in support of our community and the victims of these horrendous attacks."

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by these horrible events," it said.

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