Shootings, explosions leave dozens dead in Paris attacks

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PARIS -- The number of people killed in attacks in central Paris late Friday continues to rise, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported, and the latest confirmed number of dead victims is 43. A hostage situation is ongoing at a Paris concert hall, part of apparent coordinated attacks. French security forces are storming the Bataclan theater where the hostages are being held, a CNN producer reports from the scene.

Click here for video and reports from Paris.

At least six shootings took place in Paris and three explosions took place at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis late Friday. There was a lockdown at the Stade de France due to possible explosions, according to French media. President Francois Hollande was at the stadium, watching France playing world champions Germany in a friendly soccer match, but he left to go to the Interior Ministry.

One of the explosions at the Stade de France outside Paris appears to be a suicide bombing, a Western intelligence source receiving direct intelligence from the scene told CNN's Deb Feyerick. A dismembered body, consistent with the aftermath of an explosion from that type of device, was found at the scene, the source said.

French radio reporter Julien Pearce was inside the Bataclan theater when gunmen entered. Two men dressed in black started shooting what he described as AK-47s, and after wounded people fell to the floor, the two gunmen shot them again, execution-style, he said. The two men didn't wear masks and didn't say anything. The gunfire lasted 10 to 15 minutes, sending the crowd inside the small concert hall into a screaming panic, said Pearce, who escaped. He said he saw 20 to 25 bodies lying on the floor. The hostage situation at the Bataclan continued early Saturday.

Police were outside the scene of one of the shootings, a restaurant in the 10th District.

Lylia Melkonian, a reporter for France 2, told CNN the neighborhood has many restaurants that were packed with patrons. Melkonian said authorities were evacuating the area.

A witness told BFMTV that firefighters were on the scene to treat the injured.

Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff says it is too early to know exactly what was happening in Paris.

Social media posts from purported ISIS supporters could indicate that "there was a group waiting for this, but it could be a group watching," Chertoff said in an interview with MSNBC Friday night.

"I don't think we can say this proves anything, but again it supports the idea that it's terrorism," Chertoff said.

John Cohen, a former Homeland Security Department counterterrorism coordinator, say the presence of multiple attack scenes at the same time suggested a coordinated effort to "send a message" and raises immediate terror concerns, including for other cities in Europe and potentially the United States as well. He said both Al Qaida and ISIS have relied on the strategy of coordinated attacks in the past.

In early January of this year, two gunmen attacked the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and wounding 11.

Said and Cherif Kouachi wanted to punish the magazine for the publication of cartoons that they believed mocked the Prophet Mohammed. The Kouachi brothers two days later were shot and killed in a standoff with police in Dammartin-en-Goele.

Amedy Coulibaly, an associate of Said and Cherif Kouachi, attacked a Jewish grocery store in Paris, taking more than a dozen people hostage and killing four. Coulibaly had killed a policewoman the day before, on January 8. Couliably was killed when police stormed the kosher market.