All BC Students In Paris Are Safe, Confirms OIP

All Boston College students studying abroad in Paris are safe, Nick Gozik, director of the Office of International Programs, confirmed in an email late this evening. The onsite coordinator, Ophélie Landrin, has reached out to and received responses from all of the students, Gozik said. University spokesperson Jack Dunn also confirmed that all students have been accounted for in Paris.

On Friday, Paris was rocked with multiple acts of terror around the metropolitan area, including a shooting rampage, explosions, and a mass hostage-taking, that left over 100 dead, according to the New York Times.

Dozens had been killed in coordinated attacks outside of the country’s main sports stadium, as well as four other popular restaurants around Paris. The first of the string of attacks took place near the Stade de France, where the French and German national teams were playing a soccer match, and was reported to be a suicide bombing. Soon after, 39 were killed in a total of four restaurant shootings.

The deadliest attack, however, was in the Bataclan, one of Paris’ most popular music venues. Around 100 people were killed at the Bataclan, where hostages were held during a two-hour standoff with police. The shooting was described as a massacre, with four gunmen shooting into the crowd with AK-47 assault rifles. A witness reported that one of the gunmen shouted that the shooting was in retribution for France’s operations in Syria.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility following the assaults in Paris, members and sympathizers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria showered Twitter with celebratory tweets.

President of the United States Barack Obama, in the White House briefing room, condemned the attacks in Paris as “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.” Other world leaders followed in speaking out to condemn the egregious attacks on Paris.

Boston also showed solidarity with France. On Sunday afternoon, close to 200 people gathered on the Boston Common and waved french flags, sang La Marseillaise, and mourned the victims of the vicious terror attacks. Although FBI agent Harold H. Shaw stated that there is no threat to the New England area, Massachusetts and Boston safety officials have increased security in response to the attacks, and are looking out for threats of violence in Boston.

Nov. 16, 2015: This article has been updated.

Featured Image by Michel Euler  / AP Photo

About Arielle Cedeno 43 Articles
Arielle Cedeno was the Associate News Editor for The Heights in 2015.