(Paris -- November 14, 2015) – The multiple attacks in Paris and the suburb of Saint-Denis on November 13, 2015, were a despicable act, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks, one of the deadliest of their kind in French history, killed more than 120 people and wounded over 200, according to official sources. The extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack.

A policeman stands guard outside the Le Carillon restaurant the morning after a series of deadly attacks in Paris

Reuters 2015

"For the second time this year, Paris has been hit at its core. Nothing can justify these despicable attacks, which show a callous disregard for human life," said Bénédicte Jeannerod, France director for Human Rights Watch. "Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones."

The attacks in the 10th and 11th arrondissements and in the vicinity of the Stade de France in Saint-Denis were the second in France this year, after the January attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including the editor and several cartoonists of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

President François Hollande has called the new attacks an “act of war” and has declared a state of emergency, re-established external border controls and mobilized the French military.

"It is critical that the French authorities respond with a strong commitment to the rule of law and human rights as they seek to prevent both further attacks and any acts of retaliation that may occur," Jeannerod said.