Attack at Paris's Bataclan: "two or three men began shooting blindly at crowd"

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Like most Friday nights, especially those with a “special event”, the Bataclan nightclub and concert hall near Paris’s Place de la République was heaving.

More than 1,000 fans had gathered at this popular venue for a concert by California group Eagles of Death Metal. The band had been on the stage for an hour and the music was loud. Heavy metal loud. Not loud enough, however, to mask the sound of gunfire.

Just before 10pm the newsflashes began reporting a “series of gunfire outbursts” in the French capital. The reports were brief and conveyed nothing of the unprecedented bloodbath unfolding in the French capital.

In what appeared to be coordinated and almost simultaneous terrorist attacks, dozens of people were killed and dozens more injured. At midnight, police said “several hundred” concertgoers inside the Bataclan were being held hostage by an unknown number of gunmen.

Outside there were bodies in the street. Paris had become a war zone.

Just after midnight, French special forces launched an assault on the Bataclan in an attempt to free the hostages. There were bursts of gunfire and several explosions. At 1am, police announced the operation was over and three gunmen had been killed. French media reported that as many as 70 people had been killed inside the club.

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