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Residents in the French capital are being urged to stay indoors in the aftermath of multiple shootings that has left, according to local media, some 60 people dead and dozens injured.

Shockingly, up to 100 people are also currently being held hostage.

Police in Paris have said that the gunmen were armed with automatic rifles and grenades when they attacked a shopping mall, a restaurant, a nightclub and a theatre in highly-organised, coordinated attacks. 

Reports from the scene say that anything from 60 to 100 hostages are currently being held by two gunmen at Le Bataclan concert hall. The attackers are said to be in possession of a significant amount of explosives.

Three grenade explosions have furthermore taken place at the Stade du France while the upmarket Les Halles shopping mall has also been attacked. 

Eyewitness Ben Grant told the BBC he was in a bar with his wife when he heard gunshots being fired. He added that he saw a least half a dozen bodies on the ground.

"I was told people in cars had opened fire on the bar," he explained. "There are lots of dead people. It's pretty horrific to be honest."

He added: "I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.

The first incident seemingly occurred at the popular Le Petit Cambodge restaurant on trendy Rue Bichat in the 10th arrondissement – incidentally close to where the Charlie Hebdo shootings occurred in January.

Numerous emergency services are currently at that scene.

A second shooting was then reported just minutes later at a nightclub in the area, Le Bataclan.

The national soccer team had been hosting Germany in a friendly soccer match at Stade du France when three explosions took place outside the stadium. There are as yet no reports of casualties from those attacks. 

The exact motive of the shootings is still unknown, but witness at the nightclub told France Info radio that the men he saw opening fire and shouted: "Allah Akbar". He reported: "The men came in and started shooting. Everyone fell to the ground. It was hell."

In January in Paris, a series of attacks that began at the Charlie Hebdo offices saw 17 people lose their lives.

US president Barack Obama this evening called the killings an attack "upon humanity".

French president Francois Hollande, who had been watching the France Vs Germany game, is holding an emergency sitting of his parliament at midnight Paris time.

Declaring a state of emergency as the French army is mobilised, he also said in a statement this evening that France's borders are being closed in response.

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A shocking terrorism attack has taken place at a Tunisian resort popular with Irish visitors. Several fatalities are now being reported by local media.

A pair of gunmen shot dead at least 27 people in the attack, which was aimed at two of the busiest tourist hotels in Sousse in north-eastern Tunisia.

The town is extremely popular with Irish tourists, with the likes of Sunway.ie frequently offering package holidays to the area.

Many tourists were on the beach at the time and ran to take refuge in their hotel rooms once they heard gun shots.

RTE Radio spoke to Dublin woman Elizabeth O’Brien, who is currently holidaying in the region with her two sons.

She told RTE listeners how she was forced to grab her children and run when she heard gunfire: “We were on the beach, my sons were in the sea and I just got out of the sea. It was about 12 o’clock and I just looked up about 500metres from me and I saw a (hot air) balloon collapse down, then rapid firing, then I saw two of the people who were going to go up in the balloon start to run towards me — because I thought it was fireworks.

“So, I thought ‘oh my God, it sounds like gunfire’, so I just ran to the sea to my children and grabbed our things and as I was running towards the hotel, the waiters and the security on the beach started saying ‘run, run run!’ and we just ran to our room, which is like a little bungalow.

“So we are actually trapped in our room.”

Another man, John Yeoman from Britain, has been tweeting his fear and astonishment at what unfolded around him.

"There has been a shooting on the beach at our hotel it's been going on for 20 mins," he said a little after noon today. He later added: "We were in the pool when we heard automatic gun fire. People ran past saying there was an armed man on the beach." 

He was forced to barricade himself into his hotel room using a bed and other furniture, and shared an image of his efforts online.

A terrorist attack took place on March 18 of this year at the famed Bardo National Museum in central Tunis. Some 24 people were killed in that attack – including four Italian tourists, three French and one Briton. Many others were injured.

The Department of Foreign Affairs does not recommend that Irish tourists should avoid the country entirely, but it says that caution is needed.

Indeed, the dfa.ie website warns: “The presence of extremist elements in Tunisia, as well as instability in neighbouring Libya, mean that there is a heightened threat of terrorism in Tunisia.”

It adds: “Irish citizens should maintain a high level of security awareness, monitor the local media closely and follow the instructions of the Tunisian authorities and tour operators.”

There is no Irish embassy in Tunisia, but there is an honorary consul.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has furthermore said that Irish people concerned for family members in Sousse can call 01 408 2000.

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