At least three people died outside Stade de France in Paris during France's match against Germany on Friday as the country dealt with a series of unprecedented terrorist attacks on the city.
Two loud explosions were heard inside the stadium around 15 minutes into the match, and French president Francois Hollande was evacuated from the stadium.
A police union official says there were two suicide attacks and a bombing near the national stadium. The official, Gregory Goupil of the Alliance Police Nationale, whose region includes the area of the stadium, said the explosions went off simultaneously, near two of the entrances and a McDonald's restaurant. He did not provide more details.
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet later told TVInfosport+: "Three people have been killed and several injured after a bomb explosion in front of stadium door number J."
A decision was made to continue with the game because authorities felt it was safer to keep fans inside the ground, where their security was assured, rather than outside, where the situation on the ground was unclear.
The explosions were part of a series of terror attacks. According to French authorities at least 120 were killed in multiple acts of violence, including shootings at restaurants and a hostage-taking at a music theater that left what one official described as "carnage" inside the building as attackers had tossed explosives at the hostages.
After the match, which France won 2-0, supporters were gradually allowed to leave the Stade de France in small groups.In addition, thousands of fans waited on the pitch at the end of the game as reports of the violence flowed in. A stadium announcer made an announcement over the loudspeaker after the match, telling fans to avoid certain exits "due to events outside,'' without elaborating.
At first that prompted some panic, but then the crowds just walked dazed, hugging each other and looking at their phones for the latest news of the violence. It took an hour and a half to evacuate the stadium after the game.
"We preferred to stay on the field, that's where we felt safest," Frederic Lavergne, who attended the game, told The Associated Press as he left the stadium. "We had difficulty understanding the explanations inside the stadium."
France coach Didier Deschamps' postmatch news conference was cancelled and only Le Graet spoke before the media.
Le Graet said the players were only informed about the attacks following the conclusion of the game.
"Yes, at the end of the game," he said. "At half-time we said nothing because we didn't want the public to be disturbed or to create panic in the crowd. At the end of the match I informed the players like I'm informing you."
"The French Football Federation shares the pain of the bereaving families and their loved ones," Le Graet said.
Having been evacuated, Hollande immediately went to the Interior Ministry to follow the response to the attacks. He spoke on television in the hours following the game.
"There are several dozen killed and injured," Hollande said. "It's a horror. We've mobilised all the forces possible in order to neutralise the terrorist and to secure the areas affected. I've asked for military reinforcements so that no more attacks can take place.
"A state of emergency will be decreed. A state of emergency will be proclaimed in the whole of the territory. The second decision will be the closing of borders.
"We have to guarantee for ourselves that no one will return to commit another crime whatever it might be."
All sporting events due to be staged in Paris this weekend have been postponed, with Coupe de France ties at Entente SSG, Versailles, Bretigny and Mantes among the fixtures and events to be called off.
Earlier in the day, the German team had to evacuate their hotel because of a bomb threat, but police found no explosive devices.
"We're all shaken and shocked,'' Germany coach Joachim Low said after the defeat. "For me personally, the game and the sport loses importance. We're at a loss. We don't know what to do.''
France, set the host Euro 2016 in the summer, next play England in London on Tuesday. French football media officer Philippe Tournon told Press Association that "no decision has been made" on whether the game will continue.
The attacks come as France heightened security measures ahead of a major global climate conference that starts in two weeks, out of fear of violent protests and potential terrorist attacks. France has been on edge since deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in January on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery that left 20 dead, including the three attackers.
The restaurant targeted on Friday, Le Carillon, is in the same general neighborhood as the Charlie Hebdo offices. The country has seen several smaller-scale attacks or attempts since, including an incident on a high-speed train in August in which American travelers thwarted a heavily armed Islamic radical trying to attack passengers.
Information from ESPN FC contributer Mark Rodden and The Associated Press was used in this report.