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President Francois Hollande called the terror attack that killed 127 people in Paris on Friday night an "act of war" against France by Islamic State militants.
The coordinated assaults on cafes, a soccer match and a concert hall were carried out "by a terrorist army," Hollande said in a televised address to the nation on Saturday morning. France declared a national state of emergency, and ordered cultural and tourist sites closed after the assaults, in which men armed with suicide belts and Kalashnikovs struck seven locations in and around the capital in rapid succession.
Friday’s events deepen Europe’s worst security crisis in decades, as social collapse and savage violence in parts of the Middle East begins to affect Western countries directly. The attacks followed the downing of a Russian airliner also blamed on Islamic State, and came as Europe debates how to accommodate streams of refugees fleeing Iraq and Syria.
The attacks were committed "by a jihadist army against the values that we defend everywhere, against what we are: a free country," Hollande said. "It was an act of war that was prepared and organized abroad, and with complicity" from individuals in France, he said.