Paris Death Toll Rises to 130

Eiffel Tower in Paris France

Photo composition by Thursday Review; from photo by Sarah Herrin

Paris Death Toll Rises to 130

| published November 20, 2015 |

By Thursday Review staff


The death toll from the terror attacks in Paris has climbed from 129 to 130, French medical authorities and law enforcement officials said Friday. At least 195 people are still being treated for wounds—many of them serious—in Paris-area hospitals. French authorities say that 41 of the most badly wounded remain in intensive care units, with several still fighting for their lives.

More than 350 were wounded in the attacks last week in which heavily armed ISIS militants waged terror assaults on at least six locations around Paris. Of the 130 who died, at least 80 were people in attendance at a rock concert in the Bataclan Concert Hall, where the American-based band Eagles of Death Metal were performing to a sold-out crowd.

At the Batalclan, militants dressed in black and wearing body armor stormed the theater, opening fire into the crowd. Witnesses say that the gunmen were firing indiscriminately as chaos broke out. Hundreds managed to escape through fire exits or windows, while others attempted to hide in the building. The siege ended nearly two hours later when police and security forces stormed the building. Some of the worst injuries occurred at the Bataclan. Some of the first responders to the attacks were ex-military, a few with battlefield experience—and they describe the many of the injured as having sustained wounds typical of warfare.

The attacks, which came one week ago, were the worst terror attacks in Europe since the 2004 train bombing in Madrid. It was the worst terrorist event in France since after World War II.

Paris police and French security forces executed a massive raid this week in an apartment neighborhood of Saint-Denis, a Paris suburb. After a brutal gun battle between police and terrorists, one woman was killed in a blast (it was originally reported in the media that it was she who detonated a vest rigged with powerful explosives, injuring several policemen), and another man was gunned down in the shootout, his body so disfigured by the rampage of bullets that French officials were unable at first to confirm his identity.

Later, using fingerprint analysis, the body was identified as that of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged ringleader of last Friday’s deadly terror attacks. The woman who was at first believed to have exploded the suicide vest was Abaaoud’s sister. Today police confirmed that a third body was located at the extensive crime scene—an as-yet-unidentified person, the same person who may have detonated the explosive vest. French police spokespersons have also confirmed media rumors that the body of another woman was found at the site of the gun battle in Saint-Denis. She has not yet been identified.

Police in several countries are continuing to follow leads which may take them toward more suspected accomplices. Key among them: Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to be on the run and now the target of a massive international manhunt. Abdeslam was briefly in the custody of the authorities hours after the Paris attacks, but at that time he was not a suspect, and—after brief questioning and a check of his papers at the border between France and Belgium—he was allowed to leave. Security footage shows him driving away from the border checkpoint.

Meanwhile, all of France remains on high alert after the terror attacks rocked the city last week. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency for the country—a condition he hoped to lift by this weekend. But events have moved quickly and dramatically, and with all of Europe on edge over the potential for acts of terror, the French parliament extended Hollande’s decree through at least February of 2016. Included in the legislation are sweeping new powers given to French government law enforcement agencies and intelligence service to meet the threat from Islamic terror.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Terror Arrests Made in Paris Suburb; Keith H. Roberts; Thursday Review; November 18, 2015.

ISIS Video: We Will Strike America; R. Alan Clanton; Thursday Review; November 16, 2015.