"I am shocked by events in Paris tonight," the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help."

Fifteen of the victims were killed at the Bataclan concert hall in eastern Paris, police said, adding that a hostage crisis was ongoing at the venue.

The three others were killed in explosions near the stadium just north of Paris, where a France-Germany football match was taking place.

President Francois Hollande, who was at the match, headed for crisis talks with Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve at the interior ministry.

The attacks, whose motive was not immediately clear, came less than a year after jihadist gunmen killed 17 people in attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket.

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