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French President Declares State of Emergency and Calls in the Army

François Hollande said the government had requested the military to help secure the capital and prevent further attacks.

by VICE News
Nov 13 2015, 11:50pm

image via Élysée.fr

Adressing the French nation in the wake of tonight's shootings and the unfolding hostage situation in Paris, French president François Hollande said the government had mobilized all available forces to "neutralize the terrorists."

He described the incidents as "terrorist attacks on an unprecedented scale," and said the government was working hard to secure all the neighborhoods affected by the attacks.

Hollande also said he had requested military backup to prevent any other attacks in and around Paris. The president also announced he had gathered the council of ministers, and declared a state of national emergency. As part of the emergency plan, he said, several key sites would be closed and traffic would be banned in certain areas of the country. The state of emergency will concern the entire the French territory.

Hollande also announced the reinstatement of controls on France's borders, as part of an effort to apprehend the perpetrators if they try to leave the country. 

"We know where this attack comes from, we know where these terrorists come from," he told the nation. He said his thoughts were with the family of the victims, and urged citizens to "show compassion and solidarity, and to be unified."

"France must be big and the state's authority must be strong," he said. "The terrorists want to cripple us with fear. But facing this fear is a nation that will know how to beat the terrorists."

Hollande alluded to police operations underway in the capital, and said that security forces were carrying out a raid at a location in Paris.

He concluded by asking the French people for their trust.

President Hollande, Manuel Valls and Bernard Cazeneuve take stock of the situation at Place Beauveau.