France's Hollande Orders Borders Closed, Paris Under First Mandatory Curfew Since 1944
French President Francois Hollande said a state of emergency would be declared across France and national borders shut following a spate of attacks in Paris on Friday evening in which he said dozens were killed and several wounded.
"It is horrifying," Hollande said in a brief statement on television, adding that a cabinet meeting had been called.
"A state of emergency will be declared," he said. "The second measure will be the closure of national borders," he added.
"We must ensure that no one comes in to commit any act whatsoever, and at the same time make sure that those who have committed these crimes should be arrested if they try to leave the country," he added.
Shortly after the speech, Hollande's office announced that he was canceling his participation at the G20 meeting in Turkey this weekend.
A mandatory curfew was instituted in Paris, the first since 1944, according to the Associated Press.
Shortly after midnight Paris time, a French government official said the country's state of emergency had gone into effect.
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Below is a full translation of Hollande's speech:
"My dear compatriots,
As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is horrifying.
We have, on my decision, mobilized all forces possible to neutralize the terrorists and make all concerned areas safe. I have also asked for military reinforcements. They are currently in the Paris area, to ensure that no new attack can take place. I have also called a cabinet meeting that will be held in a few minutes.
Two decisions have been made: a state of emergency will be declared, which means that some places will be closed, traffic may be halted, and searches may be conducted throughout Ile de France (greater Paris). The state of emergency applies throughout the country.
The second decision I have made is to close the borders. We must ensure that no one enters to commit any crimes and that those who have committed the crimes that we have unfortunately seen can also be arrested if they try to leave the country.
This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us. We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.
In these difficult moments, we must -- and I'm thinking of the many victims, their families and the injured -- show compassion and solidarity. But we must also show unity and calm.
In the face of terror, France must be strong, it must be great and the state authorities must be firm. We will be.
We must also call on everyone to be responsible.
The terrorists want to scare us and fill us with dread. There is indeed reason to be afraid. There is dread, but in the face of this dread, there is a nation that knows how to defend itself, that knows how to mobilize its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists.
French citizens, we have not finished our operations. There are still some before us that will be extremely difficult. Security forces are at this very moment conducting a raid at a location in Paris.
I ask you to keep all your trust in what we can do with the security forces to protect our nation from terrorist acts.