French president tells country will defend itself after more than 120 people killed in coordinated series of handgun and suicide bombing attack across Paris

The French president, FranASSois Hollande, has said a wave of handgun attacks and suicide bombings that killed more than 120 people across Paris were orchestrated as an act of war by Islamic State.

The terror group reacted less than an hour afterwards, claiming persons responsible for Fridays attacks and saying they were designed to show France it would remain a top target as long as it continued its policies in Syria.

A statement purportedly released by Isis said its fighters strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns carried out the two attacks in various locations in the heart of the French capital following careful organisation.

The statement said: France and those who follow her voice must know that they remain the main target of Islamic State and that they will continue to smell the odour of death for having led the campaign, for having dared to insult our oracle, for having boasted of fighting Islam in France and striking Muslims in the caliphate with their planes.

Hollande in turn described the deadliest terrorist attack on Europe since the 2004 train bombings in Madrid as a cowardly act of war, adding that France would defend itself.

Six sites in the French capital were targeted on Friday evening; gunmen opened fire at a boulder concert and on clients in eateries, and a series of bombs were exploded near the Stade de France, where “the member states national” football team was playing Germany in an international friendly. At least eight attackers are dead, seven of them in suicide bombings. Witness to one shooting said police had told them at least one attacker was still at large.

In the bloodiest incident, 87 people were reported killed inside the Bataclan concert venue in the 11 th arrondissement, when gunmen opened fire on the crowd during a concert by US rock group Eagles of Death Metal.

Many people in the crowd were reportedly held hostage until armed police stormed the venue. Some of those inside the Bataclan told reporters three of the attackers exploded suicide belts as the French security force closed in.

Video footage shot from outside the venue showed dead bodies in the street, dozens of people operating from the entrance and survivors dragging the injured to security. Witnesses described the scene inside the venue as a massacre.

Police had reaffirmed that six separate attacks had taken place across Paris in little over two hours. There were casualties at the following locations 😛 TAGEND Bataclan theatre 87 people killed
Stade de France unknown number killed
Boulevard de Charonne 18 reported killed
Boulevard Voltaire one killed
Rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi five killed
Rue Alibert 14 killed
Wounded people are evacuated from the Bataclan concert hall. Photograph: Yoan Valat/ EPA https :// flash/ components/ mediaelement/ f70092081235f698081e268fecea95e4/ flashmediaelement.swf FranASSois Hollande announces the closure of the countrys perimeters https :// flash/ components/ mediaelement/ f70092081235f698081e268fecea95e4/ flashmediaelement.swf Barack Obama carries his condolences and offers assistance to France https :// flash/ components/ mediaelement/ f70092081235f698081e268fecea95e4/ flashmediaelement.swf Explosions are heard as police storm the Bataclan concert hall