Paris attacks: 43 killed, fire officials say; police trying to free hostages

Paris (CNN) — Dozens of people are reported dead after what are being called terror attacks across Paris. Police early Saturday freed hostages at a concert hall. The attacks seemed to be planned to hit areas where many people would be gathered on a Friday night in Paris, officials said. CNN will update this story as information comes in:

[Latest developments, posted at 7:18 p.m. ET]

• CNN affiliate BFMTV reports that French SWAT units have stormed the Bataclan concert hall and that the siege is over. Two attackers were killed, a police union said. Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman told CNN that assault is over.

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• Klugman says the death toll in the attacks is going to rise significantly. “We are facing an unknown and historic situation in Paris,” he said.

• Police have brought out at least 100 hostages from the concert hall, a CNN producer said; some appear to be wounded.

• At least 43 people are confirmed dead in multiple attacks across Paris, firefighters said early Saturday. CNN affiliate BFMTV reported earlier as many as 60 people had been killed.

• President Francois Hollande called the events “unprecedented terrorist attacks” and added, “This is a horror.” In a tweet, he said, “Faced with terror, this is a nation that knows how to defend itself, how to mobilize its forces and once again, knows how to overcome the terrorists.”

• French radio reporter Julien Pearce was inside the Bataclan theater when gunmen entered. Two men dressed in black started shooting what he described as AK-47s, and after wounded people fell to the floor, the two gunmen shot them again, execution-style, he said. The two men didn’t wear masks and didn’t say anything. The gunfire lasted 10 to 15 minutes, sending the crowd inside the small concert hall into a screaming panic, said Pearce, who escaped. He said he saw 20 to 25 bodies lying on the floor.

• One of the explosions at the Stade de France outside Paris appears to be a suicide bombing, a Western intelligence source receiving direct intelligence from the scene told CNN’s Deb Feyerick. A dismembered body, consistent with the aftermath of an explosion from that type of device, was found at the scene, the source said.

• People are inviting people off the streets into their apartments, reports Philip Crowther, Washington correspondent for France 24. They are following Hollande’s direction to stay indoors.

• Traffic on several subway lines has been interrupted following the attacks, the Paris police prefecture reported.

• At this hour, there is no credible or specific threat in the United States, according to a U.S. government official.

• Hollande, in an address to the nation, said he had declared a state of emergency, meaning borders will be closed. “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.

• The Paris prefecture of police is instructing residents to stay home. The prefecture said via Twitter that people should stay inside “unless there’s an absolute necessity.”

• French authorities have launched a terrorism investigation, Eric Pelletier, a reporter with Le Pariesien, tells CNN Paul Cruickshank. There has been no official claim of responsibility, though ISIS has applauded the attacks on Twitter, Cruickshank reports.

• “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,” U.S. President Barack Obama said at the White House. He called the attacks an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.”

• At least 60 people have died in the attacks, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.

• Paris police tell CNN there were three attacks. Attackers reportedly used AK-47 automatic weapons.

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