Paris attacks: Night of terror for France
November 14, 2015 | 10:15 PM
by Staff Reporter
paying tributes: Women pay their respect to the victims outside the Le Carillon restaurant the morning after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, on Saturday. -Reuters

Muscat: There were no Omanis among the victims in the Paris attacks, Humaid Al Maani, ambassador of Oman to France, tweeted.

“According to the information available to the Oman embassy in France, as well as from communications from officials with French authorities, there are no Omani citizens among the victims. We are in constant touch with them,” Oman’s ambassador said.

Oman has strongly condemned the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris, which have claimed 127 lives so far, injuring 180, with 80 of the victims said to be in a critical condition.

“The Sultanate expresses its sympathy for the families of the victims who died in the attack and shows solidarity with the French government and the friendly people of France. The attack conflicts all religious and humanitarian ethics,” a statement issued by Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mofa), said.

Mofa also tweeted that Oman’s embassy in France has communicated with Omani students in France and that they are all safe.

Read also: His Majesty sends condolences to France​

‘Utterly deplorable’

Meanwhile, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi, secretary general of Mofa, described the Paris attack as “utterly deplorable.”

“The sad events in Paris are utterly deplorable. Our sympathy goes to the victims,” the secretary general said.

“The world must continue to work together with greater efforts, in tolerance and solidarity to defeat these dark forces,” the tweet added. According to news agencies, four gunmen systematically slaughtered at least 87 young people at a rock concert being held at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris before anti-terrorist commandos launched an assault on the building.

Dozens of survivors were rescued, and bodies were still being recovered on Saturday morning.

Some 40 or more people were killed in five other attacks in the Paris region, the official said, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the Stade de France national stadium, where French President Francois Hollande and the German Foreign Minister were watching a friendly soccer match.

“I was at the cinema when the attacks occurred. As we were informed, like most of the viewers, we left the cinema mid-way. We walked home calmly, listening to the sirens of rescue vehicles. Very quickly, we connected with family and friends to make sure everyone was all right,” Charles, a 30-year-old Parisian, told the Times of Oman.

In pictures: 120 dead in Paris attacks, Hollande declares emergency in France​

Following news

“Now we are following the news, trying to understand what happened and are making sure that we go out only if necessary. Clear instructions are being given by the state and the city of Paris,” Charles added.

The attack is being termed as the one of the worst terror strikes in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, in which 191 people had died.

Meanwhile, Oman Air, which operates five flights per week between Paris and Muscat, said it is continuing to operate its services between Muscat and Paris.

“While a state of emergency has been declared by the French government, international flights out of Paris are continuing. Oman Air’s flights between Muscat and Paris will operate as per their usual schedule. However, we advise customers to leave as much time as possible for check-in and proceeding through security, which is likely to be heightened at this time. Delays are possible,” Paul Gregorowitsch, Oman Air’s chief executive officer (CEO), said.

“Air passengers are being advised to check in for the flights as usual, but should be prepared for enhanced security measures at the Charles de Gaulle Airport. We would further advise that travellers flying to Paris check their visa documentation carefully before departure. It may be prudent to consult the nearest French Embassy to establish whether additional visa requirements have been put in place,” Oman Air’s chief executive officer added.

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