French chief rabbi decries ‘unspeakable cruelty’ of Paris attacks

Chief Rabbi of France Haim Korsia expressed his horror at the bloody spate of attacks that rocked Paris Friday night, and urged for international unity in combating the “unspeakable cruelty” of terrorism.

In a statement released Saturday evening, Korsia sent his condolences to the relatives of the 129 victims killed in the country’s bloodiest attack since WWII.

Korsia said France must “heal its wounds, recover and move forward in a united way in order to fight against terrorism and all those who exploit and lead astray religion to kill in the name of God.”

Describing the series of attacks as “unspeakable cruelty,” the chief rabbi urged Jews to join in the three-day national mourning period though prayer.

Korsia urged the international community to show solidarity in denouncing the “barbaric acts.”

Friday’s coordinated attack saw shootings, suicide bombings and hostage situations at a stadium, a concert hall and other areas around the French capital in the worst bloodshed in Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

The simultaneous attacks left at least 129 dead and 352 injured, 99 of them seriously, according to a French prosecutor.

It was the second terrorist strike in less than 10 months. In January, 17 people were killed in jihadist gun attacks, five of the cartoonists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

On Saturday, the Islamic State group took responsibility for the Paris attacks, and France would remain at the “top of the list” of its targets.

An online statement from the jihadist group said eight militants armed with explosive belts and automatic weapons attacked carefully chosen targets in the “capital of adultery and vice.”

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