At least two terrorists were killed at Paris' Le Bataclan concert hall, along with close to 100 hostages during a Friday show featuring American blues rock band Eagles of Death Metal.
Paris police stormed the venue late Friday night, ending the assault. It was one of at least five attacks across the French capital, according to police.
Eagles of Death Metal is an American blues rock band from California. They were scheduled to perform at the venue prior to the attack. No band members were hurt during the tragedy.
Inside the Le Bataclan concert hall on Friday night, the band stood before a tightly packed crowd just moments before terrorists stormed into the building. The venue holds about 1,500 people and was sold out at the time of the attack, according to NBC News. The band, started in 1998, also features frontman Josh Homme, who is also the lead singer of the popular rock band Queens of the Stone Age.
"I didn't realize what was going on," a witness told France24. "We were listening to the music, then all of a sudden we heard gunshots -- they were quite high pitched. At first I thought it was a joke. I didn't actually believe. But the shots kept going and going and going, and people started screaming and ducking behind the seats. That was when I realized I had to get out."
On Instagram, users have expressed their sympathies and prayers.
A post on the band's Facebook page to their more than 300,000 followers said they were still trying to account for all of their band members and crew shortly after the attack. At least one band member is dead, according to NBC News. It is not yet clear who the member is.
The brother of lead singer Jesse Hughes confirmed in a Facebook post that the lead singer is safe.
"I spoke to him about an hour ago," David Hughes said of his brother. "The band is ok too. I hold out hope that as many people as possible make it out ok, as well."
Hughes' mother echoed the sentiment on Facebook.
"[Please] keep praying for those still being held and pray for the police," she said around the time of the attack.
Officials said they expect the death toll to rise, with at least one official describing the situation at the venue as "carnage."
A witness identified only as "Jasmine" by BFMTV told the station one of the terrorists said this was retaliation for actions in Syria.
"I saw two madmen arrive and start shooting at everyone ... all the bodies fell," she said. "To survive, I had to go over the bodies. Then I got to the bathroom. One of them shot me in the ankle. I've never seen so many dead people around me in my life. I'm traumatized."
Speaking outside the venue early Saturday morning, French president Francois Hollande said the country would be "ruthless" in handling terrorists. He has formally declared a state of emergency.
"We want to be here, amid those who saw these atrocious things," Hollande said outside Le Bataclan. "We will be ruthless, because when terrorists are capable of carrying out such atrocities, France needs to be unified even if today it is in mourning in the wake of this tragedy that is an abomination and barbaric."
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