Tragic Violence Strikes Around the World
Tragedy struck the world yesterday as a series of terrorist attacks killed nearly 200 people and an earthquake struck an already damaged nation.
At least 128 people were killed in Paris, France as gunmen and bombers attacked various points around the city on Friday, reported BBC.
Eighty people were killed in the Bataclan concert hall, where gunmen burst into a sold-out event. The gunmen reportedly took 20 hostages, one telling a captive “It’s the fault of Hollande; it’s the fault of your president. He should not have intervened in Syria.”
Terrorists also struck at the Stade de France on the northern edge of Paris, setting off at least two explosions. French President Hollande and 80,000 spectators were present for a French-German soccer match when the explosions went off.
Other attacks ensued at restaurants and bars around the city, injuring at least 180.
According to BBC, police believe all the gunmen to be dead – seven dead by suicide-bombings, one shot dead by security – but any accomplices are unknown. Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors, while 1,500 military personal patrol the city.
CNN reports that the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, encouraging the investigation to move outside of France. Belgian authorities have made some arrests of suspected accomplices.
This attack comes after a series of smaller attacks in January, when gunmen murdered 18 people when attacking the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters, a Jewish supermarket, and a policewoman on patrol.
Two bombings in Baghdad, Iraq also took the lives of innocents on Friday. A suicide bomber detonated his weapon at a memorial service for a Shiite militia fighter killed while fighting against ISIS. According to The New York Times, the explosion killed 21 people and wounded at least 46 others.
The second bomb was a roadside bomb detonated outside a Shiite shrine in Sadr City, reportedly killing at least five and injuring 15. The New York Times reports that bombings such as these have taken place almost daily in Baghdad since the emergence of ISIS.
Death and devastation unwound in Beirut, Lebanon Thursday evening, when two suicide bombers on motorcycles killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 200 others, reported Aljazeera. The attack was on a predominately Shia area of the southern part of the city, at a time of day when the streets are full of families walking after work.
According to the Lebanese minister of education, one of the bombers detonated his explosive at the gates of a school.
Aljazeera reported that the area of the bombing, Burj el-Barajneh, a popular commercial and residential location, suffered extensive damage from the attack.
This attack comes after Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist militant group and political party based in Lebanon, increased its involvement in the Syrian civil war. Aljazeera reports that ISIS has taken responsibility for this bombing as well as the Paris attacks.
BBC reported that this attack is the deadliest in the capital since the end of Lebanon’s civil war in 1990.
In Japan, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck off the southwestern coast. BBC said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, and the tsunami warning was lifted. However, the country is still suffering from the massive earthquake in 2011, which left more than 18,000 people dead or missing. Still today, about 230,000 people are displaced from their home towns.
As tragedy envelops the world, people are showing their support through commemorations on social media while politicians make statements about staying united in times of stress. President Barack Obama called the Paris attacks “an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share.”
Meanwhile, before the attacks unfurled, CNN reports that the U.S. military killed a senior ISIS leader in an airstrike in Libya on Friday. It’s hoped that Abu Nabil’s death will decrease ISIS’s ability to recruit in Libya, establish bases, and plan external attacks.
Feature photo credit: The Boston Globe
This article has been updated since its original publishing.