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Obama Calls Attacks "Outrageous," Offers Support To "Our Oldest Ally"

The US president went on tv shortly after his French counterpart to offer help in the wake of the Friday massacre.

by VICE News
Nov 13 2015, 11:45pm

Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Barack Obama went on television shortly after the Paris attacks on Friday night, as a death toll in the dozens kept climbing, to call the assault "outrageous" and offer US support to France, "our oldest ally."

At least three separate gun attacks and one explosion at a soccer game took place in Paris on Friday night. At least 40 people have been killed, and gunmen are holding dozens of hostages at a concert hall where a rock concert was underway.

"Once again we've seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians," Obama said. "This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people on France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share."

The president quoted the French Republic's motto "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" and said he was prepared to offer any assistance to the government of France. He stopped short of discussing who was responsible for the attack, saying he did not want to speculate.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he was monitoring the events in Paris and that the US embassy there was attempting to determine whether any US citizens might have been involved in the attack, according to Reuters. 

French President François Hollande also gave a public address immediately after the attacks on Friday night, declaring a state of emergency and announcing that the country would be shutting its borders.

"We have to show compassion and solidarity and we also have to show unity and keep our cool. France must be strong and great," he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also issued a statement, expressing the country's shock and sadness. 

"Canada stands with France at this dark time and offers all possible assistance. We will continue to work closely with the international community to help prevent these terrible, senseless acts," he said. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France and we mourn their loss."

One of the Friday shootings occurred in a Cambodian restaurant located in the capital's 10th arrondissement, to the east of central Paris. According to witnesses, shots rang out at Le Petit Cambodge, 18 rue Alibert, in the République neighborhood.

The second shooting took place in a restaurant in the 11th arrondissement, near the historic Bataclan concert hall. A third shooting occurred at 90 Rue de Chaconne, where a Twitter user posted a photo of bodies covered by sheets in the the streets.

There have also been reports of three explosions in a restaurant near the Stade de France — a soccer stadium located just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis. Another explosion at the stadium reportedly killed three people, and could be heard throughout the outdoor arena.