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PARIS – French police officials and witnesses have reported an explosion in a bar near a Paris stadium, a shootout outside three Paris restaurants and a hostage situation in a concert hall, leaving at least 112 dead and dozens more wounded.
According to eyewitness Jim Carroll, 67, who was walking home to his apartment on Rue Bichat at the time of the attack on the restaurants in the 10th arrondissement, there was “a loud explosion” followed by a sound like that of “Chinese fireworks – a long extended spattering that lasted for fifteen seconds.”
“Then there was another explosion and spattering that lasted for a few seconds like the first one,” he added. “Within just a minute there were the sounds of the engines.”
Firemen and police immediately barricaded Rue Bichat and all the surrounding streets.
Authorities also evacuated Place de la République and caused a flood of people to cross over the Canal Saint-Martin.
One of the police officials said there was a separate explosion near the Stade de France north of Paris. It was unclear if the events were linked.
Another police source reported 100 hostages and at least 15 killed in the Bataclan concert hall.
Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be publicly named.
France has been on edge since deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in January on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery that left 20 dead, including the three attackers.
One of the restaurants targeted Friday, Le Carillon, is in the same general neighborhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices.
The country has seen several smaller-scale attacks or attempts since, including an incident on a high-speed train in August in which American travelers thwarted a heavily armed Islamic radical trying to attack passengers.