The death toll in a coordinated and ruthless attack on six different targets in and around Paris has risen to 129, with 352 people injured, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins. He added that 99 people were critically wounded.
Speaking nearly 24 hours after the start of Friday night’s attacks, Molins outlined the sequence of the attacks, and said investigators had traced records related to one of the vehicles they used to Belgium, where three arrests were made.
Saying that investigators believe the attackers were organized in three teams, Molins said that camera footage had allowed investigators to target two cars: a black Seat and a black VW Polo with a Belgian license plate.
“This [Polo] vehicle was rented by a French citizen in Belgium,” Molins said, according to the translation by broadcaster France 24. “This person was seen on a different vehicle, was checked by police in actually a third vehicle — neither the Polo nor the Seat — [with] two other persons living in the area of Brussels. They were checked at the border between France and Belgium.”
Paying tribute to the actions of Belgium’s authorities, Molins later added, “The three individuals who had been seen this morning have been arrested.”
The three, he said, had not previously been known to French authorities.
The prosecutor did not go into more detail about those events, saying that the investigation is continuing. He did not take questions.
Update at 1:25 p.m. ET: Arrests In Belgium
Three people were arrested in Belgium, where police had traced a rented Polo car with a Belgian license plate that was seen arriving at the Bataclan music hall, Molins confirmed.
Update at 1:22 p.m. ET: Attacker Identified
An attacker identified by fingerprints was born in 1985 in France, had previously been found guilty of several crimes “and was considered a radicalized person,” Molins said, according to the France 24 translation.
Molins confirmed that a Syrian passport that was found at the Stade de France site, for a person born in 1990.
He added that the attackers used “war-type weapons” including Kalashnikov rifles and identical explosive devices that used “TATP,” a type of volatile explosive. He said that the devices had identical buttons for triggering the devices.
Update at 1:20 p.m. ET: Sequence Of Attacks
The first casualties reported were around 9:20 p.m. local time, when a suicide bomber and another person who was standing nearby died in an explosion outside the Stade de France, Molins says.
The next part of the attack unfolded outside of cafes, where assailants in a Seat car opened fire on people, Molins said, relaying instances of hundreds of bullet casings being found at several scenes.
Twenty minutes after the initial attack, gunmen entered the Bataclan concert hall and opened fire on the crowd there, Molins said, later adding that 89 people died at the venue.
Molins added that as they attacked, the terrorists also mentioned Syria and Iraq.
Molins said that the inquiry is still only in its early phases, adding that there are multiple lines of investigation ongoing.
Update at 1:12 p.m. ET: 129 Killed, Paris Prosecutor Says
The death toll in Friday’s coordinated and ruthless attack on six different targets in and around Paris has risen to 129, with more than 300 people injured, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.
He added that the number could continue to fluctuate, due to the number of people who were badly hurt.
Our original post continues:
Earlier Saturday, Belgium’s Justice Minister Koen Geens said that police had carried out “multiple searches and arrests” related to a Belgian license plate on a car that was reportedly used in Friday night’s attacks.
Belgian newspaper The Last Hour has reported that police are interested in three young people who may have been involved in the terrorist attack.
Earlier Saturday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack — shortly after the French President Francois Hollande accused the violent extremist group of coordinating the attacks, which he called an “act of war.”