Paris attacks “Black Friday for France and for the world”: Julie Bishop

Paris attacks “Black Friday for France and for the world”: Julie Bishop

Foreign minister urges Australians in Paris to stay put as state of emergency declared and French borders closed in wake or terrorist attacks.

Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop has expressed Australia’s unity with the people of France in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

She described the events as “a Black Friday for France and for the world”.

“The French people and their way of life is under attack,” she said in a press conference in Australia just before midday (AEDT) on Saturday.

“We stand in solidarity with the French people,” she said.

With events still unfolding, Ms Bishop urged Australians in the city to “Stay put, keep safe”.

“Don’t leave hotels, wait this out,” she advised, saying that travel to and from France will not be possible until the state of emergency is lifted and French borders are reopened.

Ms Bishop asked Australians currently in Paris to contact the consulate so that a register of citizens in the city may be maintained.

At this stage, she said, there were no reports of any Australians killed or injured in the terrorist attacks.

She confirmed there was one Australian citizen close to one of the attacks and that he was now safe.

Ms Bishop said there are approximately 2500 Australians currently registered as being in France.

However, the number of Aussies in the country will be greater as many, if not most, do not actually register with DFAT as being in or travelling to the country, such as those who are living in the UK.

The series of what are understood to be at least four separate terrorist attacks around Paris commenced on Friday evening (Paris time). At least 160 people are being reported as having been killed with many more injured.

Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) have claimed responsibility for the attacks.

DFAT has set up a hotline for citizens in Paris and for family and friends concerned about loved ones in the city. From Australia call 1300 555 135 or from overseas call +61 2 6261 3305

IMAGE: Police cordon off a street in Paris, on 14 November 2015 following a series of bombings and shootings across the French capital. (Kenzo Tribouillard/Getty Images)

Bryce Lowry

Bryce Lowry

Publisher and Editor of Australian Times.