The United Nations Security Council issued a statement condemning 'barbaric and cowardly terrorist attacks' involving assailants using guns and bombs on several venues, including the national sports stadium and a major music venue.
               
Divided on many issues, including on the war in Syria that has fuelled Islamist violence, the United States and Russia both voiced their support in messages to French President Francois Hollande.
               
"Once again we've seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians," said US President Barack Obama. "We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and the people of France need,” he said.

"Those who think that they can terrorise the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong," Obama said. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his deep condolences to Hollande and all the people of France following the 'horrible terrorist attacks in Paris', the Kremlin said in a statement.

See in pics: Paris in grief over deadly terror attacks

"Russia strongly condemns this inhumane killing and is ready to provide any and all assistance to investigate these terrorist crimes," Putin said.
          
In Janauary, an attack on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo left 12 people dead. A second siege ended with the deaths of four hostages. The Western defence alliance NATO said it stood with France, a founder member. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, "I am deeply shocked by the horrific terrorist attacks across Paris tonight. My thoughts are with the families of the victims, with all those affected, and with the people of France. We stand strong and united in the fight against terrorism. Terrorism will never defeat democracy."
              
In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose foreign minister was attending a France-Germany soccer match with Hollande when the stadium was attacked, said, "I am deeply shaken by the news and pictures that are reaching us from Paris.”
             
British Prime Minister David Cameron said, "I am shocked by events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help."

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