African papers relate horror stories of survivors of a day of terror in Paris as suicide gunmen killed 128 people in a Black Friday terrorist attack.
Nigeria’s Nation newspaper reports that “the terrorist murderers” raked several cafe terraces with machine-gun fire before entering a concert hall where they systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people.
That was after they detonated explosive belts outside the Stade de France killing five people while 80,000 spectators were watching a friendly between France and Germany ignored the terrorist attack underway.
President Francois Hollande was at the match and was later whisked from the stadium to the Interior Ministry where he chaired a cabinet meeting before declaring a national state of emergency – the first in France since World War Two.
For South Africa’s Mail and Guardian it should have been a Friday night like any other in central Paris, with locals and visitors alike watching a show, enjoying a meal or shrugging off the cares of the week over a drink.
But as it puts it, France and the world are asking how carnage could strike at the heart of this much-loved city, including at a concert hall barely a few hundred steps from January’s deadly attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
In Uganda, Daily Monitor, reports that police believed all of the gunmen were dead but it was unclear if any accomplices were still on the run after the string of near-simultaneous attacks.
In Kenya which has experienced mass-casualty attacks, Daily Nation presents the Paris attack in pictures, calling it the deadliest ever in Europe since the Madrid train bombings in 2004.
According to Pretoria News, if indications that the ISIS armed group or its affiliates were shown to be behind the Paris attacks, there will be dramatic consequences for security in Europe and further afield.
The South African Times collected a barrage of reactions of world leaders outraged by the shocking attack.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared herself “deeply distressed by the news and images that are reaching us from Paris”. “I am shocked by events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people,” British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on Twitter. “We will do whatever we can to help.”
The European Union’s main institutions also condemned the Paris attacks as “despicable acts” in a joint statement, expressing their solidarity with France.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said he was “deeply shocked by the horrific terrorist attacks,” adding: “We stand strong and united in the fight against terrorism. Terrorism will never defeat democracy.”
A spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “The secretary-general condemns the despicable terrorist attacks carried out today in various locations in and around Paris.”
From the White House, US President Barack Obama said the attacks were an “attack on humanity and the universal values we all share.” US Secretary of State John Kerry called them “heinous, evil, vile acts”.”Those of us who can must do everything in our power to fight back against what can only be considered an assault on our common humanity,” he added.
Xi Jinping, president of China, said in a phone call to his French counterpart Francois Hollande that China “condemns in the strongest way this barbarous act” and said that he was prepared to join in any efforts to step up security and combat terrorism.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said “The home of freedom has been assaulted by terrorists determined to attack and suppress freedom, not just in France, but throughout the world.”
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said she was “shocked” by the attacks, which she described as an expression of “terrorist brutality.”
Source: rfi afrique