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Amid Shattered Glass And Bloodstained Pavement, Parisians Seek To Cope


We begin the program in Paris, which is still reeling from yesterday's multiple terror attacks. ISIS has claimed responsibility for them. We now know that more than 120 people were killed and more than 350 have been injured. At least one American is among the dead. In Paris there has been shock and confusion, even about how many attacks were actually carried out. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports that authorities there have started filling in the timeline.

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: In a news conference today, the Paris prosecutor said three teams of attackers began their assault on the French capital at 9:21 p.m. on an unseasonably warm November evening. There were six coordinated attacks across the city. Dozens of diners at outdoor cafes were mowed down by Kalashnikov bullets in drive-by shootings. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the gates of the national stadium, where the French president was watching a soccer match between France and Germany. Thousands of spectators poured onto the field in panic.


BEARDSLEY: This video was shot by a journalist with Le Monde newspaper who lives above the Bataclan concert hall, where the worst carnage took place. Gunmen opened fire on a sold-out crowd watching an American rock band. When French forces stormed the Bataclan club two hours into the hostage drama, 80 people were dead. Survivor Louis Bertin told French radio what happened.


LOUIS BERTIN: (Through translator) Three gunmen shot into the crowd, screaming God is great in Arabic. The concert stopped and people lay on the floor, but they continued to shoot us. It was hell.


FRANCOIS HOLLANDE: (Speaking French).

BEARDSLEY: An ashen-faced President Francois Hollande addressed the nation today. Hollande said France was under attack by a jihadist army. But he said France would never buckle to such barbarity and promised to step up attacks against the group.


BEARDSLEY: Minutes later, ISIS claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks in a communique and videos on the web in Arabic and French.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking French).

BEARDSLEY: "With the support of Allah, soldiers of the caliphate have attacked the capital of abominations and perversion," said the speaker.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Speaking French).

BEARDSLEY: Today, the streets around the concert hall were completely blocked off. Only residents were allowed through the police perimeter. A throng of television reporters and hundreds of dazed Parisians stood outside. There was shattered glass and blood still on the street. Forty-two-year-old Raphael Garcia lives right behind the Bataclan.

RAPHAEL GARCIA: I saw everything - the terrifying things - bodies in bags. I saw, like, a small river on the pavement full of blood.

BEARDSLEY: This attack comes less than a year after assaults on a satirical weekly newspaper and a kosher grocery store and in spite of a huge police and military presence across the country since then. Garcia, like many Parisians, says he doesn't feel safe anymore.

GARCIA: Two times in this area - it's a bit heavy for the mind, you know? Last time, it was on January, it was Charlie Hebdo - very near to here - and now it is the Bataclan, it is the stadium, it is - wow - it is too much in a very short time, I think.


FRANCOIS MOLINS: (Speaking French).

BEARDSLEY: In a news conference tonight, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said a Syrian passport had been found near one of the seven dead suicide bombers and that cars used in the attacks were rented by a Frenchman in Belgium, where three arrests have been made.

Eleanor Beardsley, NPR News, Paris. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Eleanor Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in 2004 as a freelance journalist, following all aspects of French society, politics, economics, culture and gastronomy. Since then, she has steadily worked her way to becoming an integral part of the NPR Europe reporting team.