Eight ISIS terrorists wielding AK-47s and wearing suicide belts carried out coordinated attacks at six sites around Paris Friday night, killing at least 127 people and wounding at least 180 others, France’s president said Saturday.
American citizens were among the injured and the U.S. government was working closely with French authorities to identify the victims, the State Department said Saturday morning. During the night, the State Department said it was seeking to establish the whereabouts of 70 U.S. citizens known to be in France, but had not received word that any Americans had been killed in the attacks Friday night.
“The U.S. Embassy in Paris is working round the clock to assist Americans affected by this tragedy,” deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said in a statement Saturday.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks and a Syrian passport was found on the body of suicide bomber at the Paris stadium. French authorities are urging any witnesses to come forward. One of the bombers was a young Frenchman previously flagged for links to Islamic extremism, police said. The man was among the attackers who blew himself up after a rampage and hostage-taking in a Paris concert hall, officials said.
Authorities have closed the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and other top tourist sites in Paris until further notice. A Louvre spokeswoman said the museum opened as normal Saturday with enhanced security, but was ordered closed by the Culture Ministry after President Francois Hollande called for a national day of mourning. Isabelle Esnous, a spokeswoman for the Eiffel Tower, said the monument did not open as a security precaution. The Culture Ministry said “public cultural sites” were closed in the Paris region Saturday, without specifying.