Up to 40 dead in Paris after shootings and bombings

NewsBy Sunday World
People flee from the scene of one of the attacks in Paris
People flee from the scene of one of the attacks in Paris

Shots have been fired at a restaurant in Paris and there was an explosion near France's national stadium, according to reports.

UPDATE: 12.39am:

In a separate but seemingly linked incident, up to 100 people are now feared dead at a concert venue in Paris following a hostage situation.

UPDATE 22:15:

AP now say at least 35 dead now and 100 hostages have also been taken at a Paris theatre.

UPDATE 21:49:

AFP say that in addition to the 18 dead, seven are known to be injured and the situation is still ongoing.

The Associated Press said fatalities had been reported following a "shootout" at a restaurant, believed to be near the Place de la Republique, and that ambulances were at the scene.

In an apparently separate incident explosions were heard from within the Stade de France, about five or six miles from the city centre, where France were playing Germany in an international football friendly.

Police said at least 11 people were killed in the shootouts and other violence around Paris.

Officials said there were shots fired in at least two restaurants in the capital, and at least two explosions were heard near the Stade de France stadium, the Associated Press reported.

French president Francois Hollande left the stadium where he had been watching the football match to hold an emergency meeting.

Eyewitness Ben Grant said he was in a bar with his wife when the gunshots were fired and he had seen six or seven bodies on the ground. He told the BBC: "I was told people in cars had opened fire on the bar.

"There are lots of dead people. It's pretty horrific to be honest.

"I was at the back of the bar. I couldn't see anything.

"I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.

"We were held up in the bar because there was a pile of bodies in front of us."

The attacks come almost a year after the Charlie Hebdo atrocity, which took place in January and saw 12 people killed after gunmen stormed the offices of the satirical magazine.

In June, France launched a terrorism investigation after police found a decapitated body in a gas factory in the south-eastern city of Lyon. And two months later three Americans and one Briton were awarded medals for bravery after they overpowered a heavily armed gunman on a train in France.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I am shocked by events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people.

"We will do whatever we can to help."