“Collective Panic” In Paris And Iraqi Warning Of Attacks

French police patrol at the place de la Republique in Paris, France, Sunday Nov. 15, 2015, two days after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. French troops deployed around Paris on Sunday and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth while investigators questioned the relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the country's deadliest violence since World War II.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Panic erupts at sound of firecrackers, sight of police with guns drawn

PARIS (AP) – Two French law enforcement officials say a collective panic in several Paris neighborhoods, including the square called Place de la Republique, was a false alarm. One of the officials said the crowd in the plaza apparently panicked after hearing firecrackers.

A French security official said someone had reached out to police in the plaza out of panic, and when officers arrived with weapons drawn, the crowd dispersed in fear.

The official called it a moment of collective panic. The official had no information of any threats to the area.

Both officials weren’t authorized to be publicly named according to government policy.

Close by, panic broke out near a small Cambodian restaurant and a bar that were the scenes of shooting on Friday night and police were seen running with guns drawn.

Iraq warned of attacks before Paris assault

BAGHDAD (AP) – An Iraqi intelligence dispatch sent to coalition countries warned of imminent assaults by the Islamic State group just one day before last week’s deadly attacks in Paris killed 129 people.

Iraqi intelligence said the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ordered an attack on coalition countries fighting against them in Iraq and Syria, as well as on Iran and Russia, “through bombings or assassinations or hostage taking in the coming days.”

Six senior Iraqi intelligence officials corroborated the information in the intelligence dispatch, and four of them said they warned France specifically of a potential attack.

An Associated Press reporter was shown a copy of the note Sunday.

The officials all spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

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