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Egyptian Whose Passport Found in Paris is a Victim, Not Terrorist: Ambassador

Egyptian Whose Passport Found in Paris is a Victim, Not Terrorist: Ambassador

Credit: Thibault Camus/ AP
Credit: Thibault Camus/ AP

Ehab Badawy, Egypt’s ambassador in France, said in a phone-in to television show Hona Al-Assema (Here is the Capital) that there are no charges against Waleed Abdel Razek, the Egyptian whose passport was found near the Stade de France, where a suicide bomber blew himself up.

Badawy asserted that Abdel Razek was at the stadium to watch the friendly soccer match between the French and German national teams, which is why his passport was found near the scene of the attack.

French local media reported on Saturday that two passports, one Egyptian and one Syrian, were found near the bodies of two assailants from the attacks on the Stade de France that took place on Friday night.

Earlier in the day, state media Al Ahram reported that AirFrance has allegedly halted all flights to Cairo, citing an “official source” from the Cairo airport. It remains unclear whether these two developments are linked.

American Airlines has also suspended flights to Paris until additional information is available on the “tragic incident”, said a spokesperson.

Police sources also identified one of the attackers from the Bataclan music theater as a French national with a prior record, Agence France-Presse reported.

The death toll from the city-wide gun and bomb attacks in Paris now stands at 129, AFP reported, citing Parisian officials. 300 have been hospitalized with injuries from the attacks, with 80 in critical condition.

Terrorist group ISIS have reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement widely circulated on social networking sites. In the statement, the group hailed the “blessed” attacks on the “capital of prostitution and perversion,” saying France will remain at the top of the terrorist group’s list of targets.

Following the attacks, French President François Hollande issued a state of emergency and announced via a televised address that the military has been deployed across Paris, putting the city on complete lockdown. The President also decided to close the country’s borders in the wake of what he called “unprecedented terrorist attacks”.

“To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless,” said the French President Hollande from outside the Bataclan theater, where 118 people were killed.

“Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow.”

Hollande declared three days of national mourning following the attacks and will hold a minute of silence on Monday to mourn the victims.

Meanwhile, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, two of Paris’ most popular tourist attractions, have been shut down until further notice.

The theater attack was one of six attacks across Paris. Health authorities have reported that 118 people were killed at the Bataclan theater in the 11th arrondissement after four armed attacks opened fire on the crowd and held dozens of hostages.

BFMTV reported that one of the gunmen attacking the Bataclan music theater shouted, “This is for Syria” before opening fire.  The four attackers were killed after three of them wearing suicide vests blew themselves up as police raided the theater.

Around the same time, there was an attack on two restaurants in the 10th arrondissement, killing 11. The restaurants are in the same neighborhood as the Charlie Hebdo office, where three gunmen killed several of the newspaper’s staff in January of this year.

These attacks came shortly after twin blasts were heard outside the Stade de France stadium in Paris, where a friendly soccer match between Germany and France was being held.

President Hollande was at the Stade de France to watch the soccer match but was evacuated as the explosions were heard from inside the stadium.

There have also reportedly been two other shootings in rue de Charonne and at the Les Halles shopping mall.

Reports indicate that eight attackers have been killed.

World leaders have all voiced their condemnation of the attacks and expressed solidarity with France.

In a statement, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi condemned the attack and said that terrorism will be defeated.

US President Barack Obama delivered a speech after news of the attacks broke, describing the incidents as an “attack on all humanity” and “an outrageous attempt to terrorize civilians”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also expressed her condolences and “deep shock”.

This story is developing.

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