WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – World leaders expressed their shock over the shootings and condmened a string of attacks in Paris, Friday which left at least 128 people dead and numerous wounded.
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US President Barack Obama led a chorus of global condemnation of attacks in Paris that killed more than 100 people Friday, as nations pledged solidarity with France and vowed to help hunt down the perpetrators.
The shootings, explosions and a hostage-taking at a popular concert venue in the French capital reverberated around the world, especially in countries such as the United States, Britain and Spain, previous scenes of devastating acts of terror.
“It s an attack not just on the people of France. But this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share,” Obama said in an address at the White House.
“We re going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people.”
In London, where 52 people were killed and hundreds wounded in a series of coordinated suicide bombings on the city s public transport system in 2005, British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We will do whatever we can to help.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called his French counterpart to express solidarity and his Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo raised the specter of a “jihadist” attack.
One witness said an attacker at the Bataclan music venue yelled “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) and fired into the crowd at the concert given by US rock band Eagles Of Death Metal.
“All of this confirms that we are facing an unprecedented challenge, a hugely cruel challenge,” Garcia Margallo told public television TVE in Spain, scene of the 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his condolences.
“As a country that knows very well the manner and consequences of terrorism, we understand perfectly the suffering that France is experiencing now,” he said.
Last month, twin bombings on a peace rally in Ankara killed 102 people.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini tweeted that she was “in the process of following with pain and dread the events in Paris.”
“Europe is with France and the French people,” she said.
On the other hand, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “profoundly shocked” by the string of deadly attacks in Paris.
“I am profoundly shocked by the news and images from Paris. At this time, my thoughts are with the victims of these apparently terrorist attacks, and with their families and all residents of Paris,” Merkel said in a statement.
Meanwhile, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also expressed his sorrow saying he was “deeply shocked” by the incident.
“I am deeply shocked by the events in Paris. We stand in full solidarity with the people of France,” Juncker said on his Twitter account.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country stood “shoulder-to-shoulder” with French President Francois Hollande and the people of France in what he called “our common battle against terrorism.”
Since the start of October, Israel has been faced with a wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks.
In Asia, where people woke up to the news from Paris, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Facebook that he was “shocked.”
“It is not the first time innocent civilians have been massacred like this in this troubled world.
But each time it happens we again feel appalled and outraged beyond words, for an attack like this is in fact an attack on our shared humanity,” Lee said.
In Washington, Obama pledged to work with France to bring those responsible to justice.
“We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberte, egalite, fraternite are not just the values French people share, but we share,” he said.
“Those go far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening.”
UN condemns attack
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier condemned the attackand called for any hostages to be immediately released.
“The secretary-general condemns the despicable terrorist attacks carried out today in various locations in and around Paris,” according to a statement from his spokesman.
“The secretary-general extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. He stands with the government and people of France.”
The UN Security Council also condemned what it called “the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attacks.”
President Mamnoon Hussain expressing solidarity with the French people said terrorists are enemies of humanity.
He said terrorism is an international phenomenon and a joint strategy should be thrashed out for its complete eradication.
In his condolence message, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan stands firm behind the people and Government of France in this hour.
The foreign office spokesperson in a statement in Islamabad expressed heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families.
He said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms.