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November 13, 2015

Explosions, Gunfire at Paris Restaurant; "Several" Dead
Update: Multiple Attacks in Paris, At Least 18 Dead

I wonder if Amherst will issue any demands.

Police officials in France say there has been an explosion in a bar near a Paris stadium and a shootout in a Paris restaurant.

BFM television says there were several dead in the restaurant shooting in the 10th arrondissement of the capital. Two police officials confirmed the shooting but had no information about casualties.

The 10th arrondissement is in the middle north of the city, north of the Seine, not quite all the way to the city limits. It's one of Paris' most "multiethnic" arrondissements (quarters).

Now, when people talk about "bad areas" of Paris, they really mean the banlieus, the suburbs to the north and east, which are "bad neighborhoods." (The banlieus to the west, on the other hand, are very wealthy and orderly.)

I sense that Paris itself is pretty well policed and there aren't really terribly "bad neighborhoods" in Paris proper. Having said that, the 10th arrondissements is among the ones that get called out for being a little sketchy. There are a couple of train stations that empty here from the suburbs, and some red light district stuff, and of course the "multiethnic" tapestry which we should all celebrate, amidst the sporadic gunfire and grenade bursts.

The 10th arrondissement is one of Paris's most multiethnic neighborhoods, and the streets around Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis are home to large numbers of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, West Indians, Africans, and Turks. It's a vibrant, thriving area and the Passage Brady is one of the best places in Paris to eat Indian and Pakistani food. However, the streets around Strasbourg St-Denis, Gare du Nord, and Gare de l'Est are not the safest parts of the city and should be avoided late a night.

I have no information yet on why a restaurant should be attacked with grenades and guns. I have some theories. I guess we'll wait, as we usually do, for the inevitable.

Update: I saw that there was another attack in the 11th arrondissement. This AFP tweet says "multiple" attacks.

More: Three places of gunfire:

Hillary just came on TV and said this was all due to a Julia Ormond movie released in 1995.

There were two explosions at the Stade de France, which i take to be Paris' soccer stadium. France was playing Germany at the time, so the venu was packed. Note this is not even in Paris, but in the suburbs to the north (which seems to add a new location of attacks).

More: President Hollande was actually present at the game during the explosions, but has been evacuated safely.

One of the attacks occurred at a restaurant/bar (I think) called Bataclan. A witness at Bataclan reports: "We saw two men coming back inside Bataclan. They were armed, dressed normally. They shot into the room and to the outside."

Three dead at the Stadium (at least), at least 15 dead at this Bataclan restaurant.

Update: I'm being told on twitter that Bataclan is a "concert hall." But here's the main point: there are 60 hostages held inside.

Dead bodies on the street in the 10th arrondissement, being covered by black tarps:

You can hear the explosion at the Stadium in this Vine:

The band Eagles of Death Metal, who are not a death metal band, were playing at Bataclan during the attack; that crowd was taken hostage.

The Eagles of Death Metal are an American rock band, fronted by Josh Homme (who has many, many bands, and gives the cool and weird names).

I really like him. Below, his song, in his group Queens of the Stone Age, "No One Knows." Because No One Knows who could possibly be resonsible for this attack.

Paris news now reporting "suicide attacks."

Note: I'm told Josh Hommes doesn't tour with the band; he is just mostly a studio hand. Sorry to keep hitting this angle -- he's someone I know (I mean, I know him in the sense I have his albums) and like.

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